A weakened Cyclone Vayu turned into a low-pressure formation near Kutch and adjoining areas on Tuesday, bringing moderate rainfall to several parts of Gujarat. Una taluka in Gir Somnath district received the highest, 70 millimetre, rainfall during the day. Despite the rains caused by Cyclone Vayu, it has not made up for the delay in the Southwest Monsoon.
The India Meteorological Department said that the monsoon, which usually reaches Gujarat by June 15, had only advanced up to southern Karnataka near Mangalore on Tuesday. The state has so far received 24.7 mm of rainfall between June 1-18, 2019. Till June 12, Gujarat had received only a minuscule 0.4 mm of rainfall. In fact, average rainfall across the state has been deficient by 41 per cent compared to the average rainfall usually received during this period.
So far in June, the districts of Porbandar, Jungadh and Gir Somnath — which were near the path of Cyclone Vayu — received excess rainfall that ranged between 16-23 per cent more than the average. The rest of the districts have had deficient rainfall. In 19 districts of the state, mostly in Kutch, Central Gujarat and South Gujarat regions, rainfall deficiency has been the highest, between 63-84 per cent.
Meanwhile, in the 12 hours till 6 pm on Tuesday, Lodhika taluka in Rajkot district received 47 mm of rainfall, while both Gir Gadhada and Sutrapada talukas of Gir Somnath district received 46 mm. Other areas that received high rainfall include Vadgam taluka (45mm) in Banaskantha district, Siddhpur (41mm) in Patan and Kalol (40mm) in Gandhinagar district.
Moderate rainfall or thundershowers are expected to continue till Wednesday morning in several parts of Saurashtra and Kutch and the Union territory of Diu. Temperatures are likely to fall by 2-3 degrees during the next 24 hours. “Temperatures will rise 2-3 degrees thereafter,” the IMD stated in its latest bulletin.
The control rooms set up ahead of the monsoon by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation in various zones earlier this month has received as many as 59 complaints related to trees getting uprooted or branches breaking due to rainfall in the city caused Cyclone Vayu. As many as 29 trees have fallen in the seven zones of the city in the past two days. East zone which includes areas of Nikol, Gomtipur, and Viratnagar, lost the most number of trees — nine.
Director of Parks and Gardens at AMC Jignesh Patel said the department had been responding swiftly to remove fallen trees. “Our team reaches the spot within a maximum of two hours of receiving the complaint,” he said. “Our first priority is to rescue people, if there is any casualty, and then we engage in clearing traffic so that there is easy movement and minimum inconvenience to the people. Then we take the fallen tree to our respective depots.”