Updated: September 15, 2021 11:28:43 am
A two-year-old boy and an employee of the Gandhinagar district panchayat were among eight people who lost their lives in rain-related incidents in Gujarat since Monday, taking the total toll to 48 so far this monsoon in the state.
More than 9,200 persons were relocated and 144 rescued from flooded rural areas, while 724 people were rescued and 1,146 relocated in urban areas on Tuesday from Jamnagar, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said in Jamnagar. At least 164 villages reported power outages, which he said would be restored soon. He visited Rajkot later in the day.
Rajnikant Dulara, an employee of the Gandhinagar district panchayat, died after being struck by lightning at the old secretariat complex in the state capital, while the body of a Rajkot businessman who went missing in floodwaters was found Tuesday.
Dulara, a resident of Sector 6, Gandhinagar, went to the old secretariat to deliver mail around 3 pm when it began raining heavily and he took shelter under a neem tree in the garden opposite block No. 11 and was struck by lightning.
Confirming the death, Gandhinagar Collector Kuleep Arya said, “The department is sorry for the loss. We assure due compensation to his family within 24 hours.”
Businessman Kishan Shah from Rajkot who was swept away in a swollen rivulet while trying to cross a causeway in Chhapra village of Lodhika taluka on Monday was found dead downstream the causeway on Tuesday. The search was on for his driver who was also in the same car and is still missing.
Principal of an Ashramshala, Hitesh Tandel (40), a resident of Bhesdavra village in Dharampur taluka, was swept away while crossing the Kaveri river in Chikhli taluka on Tuesday. His body was found later.
In Jamnagar, Manishaben (50) and her husband Rameshbhai Aghera (52) from Jamjodhpur were swept away in their four-wheeler near Samana causeway, while two-year-old Irfan Mohsin was swept away in the deluge outside his house in Jodiya taluka. Samjuben Manubhai Rathod was killed in a house collapse in Bhavnagar city’s Jogivad area.
Vashram Keshvbhai Vara (42) from Porbandar’s Ranavav taluka was electrocuted in his house.
The compound wall of a primary school in Sukhour village of Junagadh’s Vanthali taluka collapsed, injuring a few people, while another injury was recorded in Porbandar’s Kutiyana taluka.
The chief minister, who flew to Saurashtra on Tuesday for an aerial survey of Jamnagar and Rajkot districts that were battered by flash floods due to heavy rain on Monday, reached Jamnagar by afternoon. He visited residents of flood-ravaged Dhuvav village and Mahaprabhujini Bethak area of Jamangar.
“The CM said that the government will ensure that no one is left out in distribution of relief and that people’s life would become better than what it was before floods,” an official release stated.
Jamnagar MP Poonam Maadam, former minister Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, local BJP MLA Raghvji Patel, chief secretary Pankaj Kumar and Jamnagar mayor accompanied the CM, who also held a meeting with officials to review the situation and plan relief measures.
Later in the evening, the CM met people of flood-affected Vajdi-Gadh village in Lodhika taluka of Rajkot district and also held a meeting with officials of the district administration.
The CM was to fly to Rajkot but his plane could not take off from Jamnagar airport due to heavy rain and Patel, accompanied by chief secretary Pankaj Kumar, drove to Rajkot.
In Rajkot, Patel said, “It rained more in rural areas compared to urban areas. Teams will be formed to assess the damage caused by floods… The government would compensate people against crop loss, livestock loss and loss of household items.”
Lodhika had logged 16 inches of rain from 6 am to 6 pm on September 13 while Kalavad received 14 inches during the same period. Rajkot city received 12 inches of rain and Visavadar taluka of Junagadh got 12 inches. Extremely heavy rainfall was also recorded in Upleta, Gonal and Padadhari talukas of Rajkot, leading to a flash-flood-like situation in Rajkot and Jamnagar districts.
Traffic was halted on one national highway, 18 state highways, 162 panchayat roads and 20 other roads, a government release said. The Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation cancelled 121 trips on 55 routes due to the rain and ordered schools and colleges to remain shut. In Valsad district, over 20 roads in Umargam, Dharampur and Pardi talukas had to be closed as a preventive measure.
Teams of NDRF, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy were deployed to rescue people stranded in floodwaters in Jamnagar and Rajkot. However, the rain halted by evening on September 13 and normalcy returned on Tuesday as skies cleared up.
According to the flood control department, in the Valsad district, Umargam received 5.19 inches of rain in the past 24 hours, followed by Kaprada 7.8 inches, Dharampur 6.7 inches, Pardi 4 inches, Valsad 4.2 inches, and Vapi 6.06 inches of rain.
Due to the heavy rainfall, several villages in the interior areas of Dharampur, Kaprada, and Pardi went out of contact. The authorities are making efforts to get in contact with the people of around 20 villages in all three talukas.
Sources said that the water level Madhuban dam in Damanganga river on Tuesday evening was 78 metres, with 36,653 cusecs inflow, while outflow has been maintained to 42,533 cusecs.
The water level in the Ukai dam on Tuesday evening was 340.71 feet (345 feet danger level), where outflow has been maintained up to 98,689 cusecs with an inflow of 28,746 cusecs.
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