AHMEDABAD: Heavy rains battered parts of Gujarat’s Saurashtra region on Monday, leading to the deaths of three people in Rajkot and Jamnagar as rivers overflowed and low-lying areas got flooded, prompting the authorities to issue alerts and deploy NDRF and SRDF teams for evacuation and relief.
District authorities said that Indian Air Force helicopters were pressed into service in Jamnagar and Rajkot to airlift people.
Lodhika taluka in Rajkot received 435 millimetres of rainfall in a 10-hour period since 6am on Monday, while Visavadar taluka in Junagadh got 364 mm, Kalavad in Jamnagar 348 mm, Rajkot taluka 305 mm, Dhoraji in Rajkot 202 mm, Kotdasangani in Rajkot 190 mm, Gondal in Rajkot 162 mm, State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) officials said.
A woman and two men drowned after their cars were washed away by the intensity of rains in two separate incidents in Kalavad in Rajkot and Jam Jodhpur in Jamnagar districts, respectively, officials said. Several teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) were rushed to Rajkot, Junagadh and Jamnagar, they said.
Around 20 people were airlifted by Indian Air Force helicopters from various villages in Jamnagar district, and 30 others rescued as well, Collector Sourabh Pardhi said, while Rajkot Collector Arun Mahesh Babu informed that IAF choppers were preparing to airlift 22 people from three different villages in his district.
“So far we have relocated a total 1,155 people to safe places in the district, and the process continues. A team of the NDRF from Bhatinda in Punjab and two teams of SDRF from Banaskantha and Vadodara will be here to help in rescue operations,” Babu said.
Pardhi said two teams of the NDRF and one of SDRF were carrying out rescue operations in affected areas in Jamnagar.
An SEOC official said a part of the national highway between Jamnagar and Kalavad was blocked due to flooding, while six state highways in Jamnagar, Amreli and Porbandar districts and 58 village roads in different districts were similarly affected.
Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department, during the day, forecast widespread rainfall across Gujarat till Wednesday, including “heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy rainfall in a few places in the districts of Saurashtra during the next four days”.
Parts of south Gujarat and other districts may also receive heavy to very heavy rainfall during this period, the IMD added.