Incessant rain that continued to batter most parts of the state claimed 11 lives on Monday even as 306 persons were rescued and nearly 2000 evacuated, majority from Morbi district.
A father-son duo went missing after being swept away at a flooded causeway in Morbi when the boy was on way to attend the Gujarat Common Entrance Test (GUJCET). Officials said Ashwinbhai Dalwadi, 17, accompanied by his father Naranbhai Becharbhai Dalwadi (45), was going to the exam centre in Morbi district’s Halvad taluka when the incident happened. Search operations are on.
According to the state relief department, three persons died as they were swept away while two others were rescued in another incident in Morbi district from a car that was swept away in a flooded causeway. One death each was reported due to drowning from Sabarkantha, Tapi, Dahod, Bharuch, Junagadh and Jamnagar.
As many as 306 persons were rescued by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel from four districts of Panchmahal, Morbi, Mehsana and Ahmedabad on Sunday night and Monday.
Another 226 persons who got stranded in the swelling water on Sokli road near State Reserve police (SRP) camp site in Viramgam taluka of Ahmedabad district were rescued in a joint operation by Viramgam Mamlatdar, chief officer, police and local people.
In Godhra taluka, 70 persons were rescued from Pavagadh on Sunday night with the help of local police and administration when the water swelled in the pond.On Monday, 8 labourers were rescued from near Tankara circuit house.
In Suarashtra, 140 out of 162 major dams were overflowing on Monday. These included 74 of the 80 dams of Rajkot irrigation circle, 44 out of 60 dams of Bhavnagar irrigation circle and 24 out of 25 dams of Junagadh circle.
Bhavnagar circle officials said that 50 out of 56 gates of Shetrunji, the largest dam of Saurashtra, were open two feet each and that 13,000 cusec of water was being discharged from the dam at 8 pm on Monday. Similarly, floodwater was also being discharged from Bhadar, the second largest dam of Saurashtra.
Makan Bhut (81), a resident of Lakhtar village in Jodiya taluka of Jamnagar district, drowned in a flooded stream, the flood control-room of Jamnagar said. On the other hand, three persons driving in a car were swept away in a rivulet while crossing a flooded causeway in their car near Wankaner town in Morbi district. Two others who were in the same car managed to swim to safety, Morbi district collector Jayanti Patel said. The collector further said that flooding was reported in downstream Maliya taluka after the irrigation department started discharging floodwaters from Machhu-II dam, peaking at 1.36 cusec at around 11 am on Monday.
“In Chikhali village of Maliya, 22 people stranded in floodwaters were rescued. Some people in Tuti Vandh area are also reportedly surrounded by water and efforts are on to rescue them,” Patel told The Indian Express.
The Rajkot Municipal Corporation said that it had evacuated 1,700 people as floodwaters of Aji river entered houses in low-lying areas along its banks on Monday, while 504 people were shifted to safer places in the neighbouring Morbi district. The Rajkot civic body had to shift people of Ekta Nagar in Jungleshwar, some parts of Ramnathpara and Laludi Vokali. “Water in Aji river had reached a dangerous level in the morning and therefore, we had to shift people to a safe location. But now, the water level is falling and the situation is under control,” said Chetan Nandani, deputy municipal commissioner of RMC.
The Morbi collector said that 504 people were evacuated in the district. “These include people living along the bank of Machhu river in Morbi town and 47 in Maliya taluka. Now, only 36,000 cusec of water is being discharged from Machhu-II dam and the situation is fast improving,” added Patel.
Jodiya taluka of Managar recorded 14 inches of rain in 24 hours till 6 am on Monday and the rain continued during the day. Tankara taluka in Morbi district experienced 11 inches of rain, while Morbi taluka recorded 10 inches. In Rajkot district, Lodhika and Rajkot city received almost six inches of rain till 6 am, before adding three and two inch more, respectively, by 4 pm on Monday. Gondal recorded more than seven inches of rain in the 10 hours concluding at 4 pm on Monday.
Several roads were closed to vehicular traffic. In Rajkot city, the Mahila College Chowk, Railnagar railway underbridge, Popoatpara railway underpass and Lakshminagar underpass had to be closed. Waterlogging was also reported on 150-feet ring road of the city, leading to traffic snarls especially in the morning as it rained heavily and students tried to reach schools to appear for GUJCET examination. However, Nandani said that waterlogging had been cleared and roads were opened to traffic by late evening.
In Morbi, the collector said, seven state highways and 22 rural roads had to be closed, including the Jamnagar-Maliya Coastal Highway connecting Jamnagar to Morbi and Kutch.