Parts of Gujarat, especially Saurashtra and Kutch, received heavy showers for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday, narrowing the rainfall deficit at the end of the monsoon season.
At least eight dams overflowed and more than a dozen registered significant fresh inflow in Saurashtra following heavy rainfall under the influence of a cyclonic circulation over Marathwada and adjoining areas.
In a rain-related incident, a two-and-a half-month old girl died following a wall collapse at Santalpur Dhar village in Vanthali taluka of Junagadh district.
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The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a heavy to very heavy rainfall warning across the state for Thursday and Friday. This would be followed by light to moderate rainfall till early next week.
“Monsoon was vigorous over Gujarat region, Saurashtra, Kutch, Diu, Daman and Dadra Nagar Haveli,” the IMD’s release stated.
As many as 79 talukas in the state received rainfall in the last 24 hours. Bhachau in Kutch received 175 mm rainfall, the highest in the state. It was followed by Lodhika in Rajkot and Lalpur in Jamnagar — both received 152 mm rainfall.
With this recent spell of rain concentrating on Saurashtra and south Gujarat regions, the state’s average rainfall this monsoon season has reached 88 per cent. Saurashtra has recorded 95.26 per cent rain this season, followed by south Gujarat (88.10 per cent), north Gujarat (81.27 per cent), Kutch (76.45 per cent) and north central region (77.11 per cent).
With the start of monsoon retreat in the mid-September, Gujarat was staring at a rainfall deficit of 23 per cent against the national shortfall of 5 per cent.
Following four days of good rainfall, Saurashtra dams, which were otherwise dried, started overflowing on Wednesday. At least eight dams were brimming and overflowing, control-rooms of irrigation circles of Rajkot and Bhavnagar said.
Sasoi and Panna dams in Jamnagar started overflowing at 11 am. Venu-II, Aji-II, Umiyasagar and Kotda-Bavishi dams in Rajkot were overflowing too.
Dhrafad and Ozat reservoirs in Junagadh were also overflowing. A gate of Raidi dam in Amreli district was opened after it was filled to its limits.
On the other hand, Raval dam in Una and Sonmati dam in Rajkot circle were also brimming. The water level in Bhadar-I dam, the second largest dam in the region, rose by three feet to 13 feet, officials said. This dam provides drinking water to Rajkot city and a number of towns in the district.
The level of Shetrunji, the largest dam of Saurashtra, also rose to 27.50 feet as a steady inflow of 2,030 cusec continued through the day. Moj dam in Rajkot circle was around 90 per cent of its capacity.
However, due to the pattern of rain and its distribution, a number dams in the region were still empty by and large.
Rainfall over the past few days has resulted in a drastic drop of temperature across the state. Ahmedabad recorded a high of 26.8 degrees Celsius, a negative departure of 9.2 degrees, while Vadodara registered a day temperature of 29.1 degrees Celsius, a dip of 7 degrees. It was 26 degrees Celsius in Porbandar (-3), 27.8 degrees Celsius in Amreli (-7), 28.4 degrees Celsius in Rajkot (-7) and 30.4 degrees Celsius in Surat (-5).
With frequent showers and drop in temperature, doctors believed that threat from malaria and dengue would be less. Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s entomologist Dr Vijay Kohli said, “If the current weather continued with a further dip in temperature, which is expected during this time of the year, malaria cases will decline. The malaria transmission falls if the mean temperature goes below 16 degree Celsius. It is usually seen that in extreme heat and cold, malaria cases drastically falls.”