AHMEDABAD: As many as 19 people were killed in Gujarat following torrential rains during the past one week, even as the state government relocated more than 1,000 persons to safer places.
"Heavy rains have caused a total of 19 deaths in the state since last week. We also have reports of 84 cattle perishing in the rains. Around 978 persons from across the state, primarily South Gujarat, have been evacuated to safety," Manoj Kothari, Relief Commissioner, Gujarat, told reporters on Thursday. "Many villages also do not have electricity but we are trying to restore power supply at the earliest," he added.
Navsari district in South Gujarat, which has been witnessing heavy rains this season, is the most affected in the state. The authorities have put around 10 villages in Navsari on alert, with a dozen others in danger of being marooned.
The state has deployed a total of fifteen teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in the state, out of which four teams are in South Gujarat, four teams in Vadodara, three teams in Gandhinagar and one team each in Amreli, Jamnagar, Palanpur and Mahisagar districts.
During the past 24 hours, 118 of the total 251 talukas (tehsils/blocks) in the state have received heavy rainfall, with more than two inches of rains lashing over 30 talukas. Heavy rains continued in the South Gujarat region on the second consecutive day. Waghai in Dangs district received over 121 mm of rains, followed by Surat city with 107 mm and Bharuch and Dolvan in Tapi district with around 95 mm.
With heavy inflow of waters from the catchment area, Ambika river in Navsari district and Poorna river in Dangs district were in spate and 206 roads, including one national highway and four state highways were shut down for vehicular traffic.
A police station in the Sachin GIDC estate region of Surat had to be evacuated after it got flooded, forcing policemen to move out. The authorities asked the schools and other educational establishments to remain shut for the day.
The Saurashtra region of the state also had good downpour with Kodinar in Gir Somnath district receiving heavy rains of 115 mm and Talaja in Bhavnagar district about 100 mm of rain till 6 p.m. on Thursday, according to figures provided by state emergency operation centre.
The meteorological department issued warnings of heavy to very heavy rains in many parts of the state for next 48 hours. "South Gujarat, East-Central districts of the state and coastal Saurashtra districts would receive heavy to very heavy rains and at some isolated places even extreme heavy rains are expected in Surat, Navsari and Valsad."
"Heavy rains are also expected to lash some isolated regions of Panchmahals, Dahod, Mahisagar and Kheda districts. Other parts of the state could witness moderate to heavy rains in coming four days," Jayanta Sarkar, Director, Met Department, said.