One person was killed and three others were missing after reportedly being swept away in a swollen river in Dhrang village of Mundra taluka in Kutch as heavy rain lashed the coastal taluka on Sunday.
As the Southwest monsoon continued to remain active over Gujarat, Mandvi and Mundra in Kutch district recorded 5.2 inches of rainfall — the highest in the state in 12 hours from 6 am on Sunday.
PS Vaghela, mamlatdar of Mundra, told The Indian Express that five members of a family were swept away in a river that was swollen after heavy rain since 4 am on Sunday. “The family have their agricultural land and home on the bank of the river. One of the family members was trapped in the flooded river while four others tried to rescue the person, leading to the death of one,” Vaghela said. Mundra police said the family member who was trapped in the water was trying to rescue their cattle.
Vaghela said the family members were identied as Gulam Jakab Turk (25), Zahidabai Salim Turk (23), Umar Abdul Turk (28), Kausarbai Gulam Turk (27), Samina Asgar Turk (17). “Kausarbai and Samina were rescued and taken to hospital. But Kausar died in hospital while Samina is still under treatment,” he said.
The mamladar said that an operation was on to rescue the three missing persons. “A team of National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) is leading the search and rescue operation. However, the team was not successful till Sunday evening,” said Vaghela, adding no untoward incident was reported from anywhere else in Mundra.
The Vishwamitri river in Vadodara was flowing at around 22 feet on Sunday, close to its danger mark of 24 feet, leading to several low lying areas in the city inundated. Vadodara city has received close to 31 inches of rain in 24 hours till Sunday evening.
Several areas along the riverbank were submerged as Vishwamitri rose up to 23.75 feet on Saturday night that went down after a pause in heavy rain. As many as 500 residents of a residential colony in Vadsar area, located along the river were marooned with the access road under 7 feet of water.
Sunil Chauhan, a resident, said, “As soon as the river touched 20 feet, our access road went under water. Crocodiles may venture into the area and pose a threat as well.” As many as seven baby crocodiles and one six-foot long crocodile were rescued since Friday from various areas close to the river. On Saturday, the Vadodara Municipal Corporation shifted several residents from low lying areas to relief camps in municipal schools.
Dharampur in Valsad district recorded 3 inches of rainfall, followed by Gandhidham in Kutch at 2.5 inches, Deodar in Banaskantha 2.4 inches, Bharuch 2 inches, Subir in Dang 2 inches and Bhiloda in Aravalli 2 inches of rainfall.
On Sunday, Valsad, Dang, Bharuch, Navsari, Surat, Tapi, Patan, Mehsana, Vadodara, Junagadh, Morbi and Rajkot received heavy rainfall.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), three systems, including a cyclonic circulation over south Gujarat, low pressure area over South Jharkhand and neighbourhood with an associated cyclonic circulation, and the east west shear zone across Peninsular India is resulting in heavy rainfall across the state.
“A fresh low pressure area is likely to form over North Bay of Bengal around August 19,” the IMD forecast stated adding the state may receive heavy rainfall till August 21. Fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea till August 20.
Till Sunday, the state has recorded 77.23 per cent average rainfall during monsoon with Kutch recording the highest of 122.18 per cent, Saurashtra 111.60 per cent, South 66.57 per cent, East Central Gujarat 59.97 per cent and North Gujarat 54.15 per cent. Total rainfall received in the state is 641.76 mm, of this the highest share (290.86 mm) recorded was in August.
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