Heavy rainfall wreaked havoc in several parts of Gujarat on Saturday, 23 July, with the state's Junagadh district being the worst affected.
Purported visuals on social media showed cars and livestock being swept away by the flash floods that were triggered by the downpour in the state since 20 July.
So far, three people have died in rain-related incidents reported from the Surendranagar district and Rajkot district, according to The Indian Express. Hundreds more remain stranded, awaiting evacuation from the low-lying areas that have been inundated with floodwater.
"Heavy rain is expected in Gir-Somnath, Junagadh, Kutch, Porbandar, and Valsad, Navsari in South Gujarat till tomorrow afternoon. The Commissioner has urged people not to go out unnecessarily and stay at home," the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) reportedly said in a statement on Saturday.
The Situation in Junagadh
Between 10am and 4pm on Saturday, Junagadh reportedly received nine inches of rain. The extreme amount of rain overwhelmed the rivers flowing through the city, as the intensity of the downpour also increased as the day progressed.
"There is a gradient from Mount Girnar to Junagadh and rivers and streams originating from Girnar pass through Junagadh City. The rains on Mount Girnar as well as in the city have created problems," Bhavnagar Municipal Commissioner Ramesh Tanna was quoted as saying.
The subsequent flash floods reportedly claimed the life of at least one person in Junagadh on Sunday, 23 July.
“We have rescued some 200 to 300 people from low-lying areas though flooding is there in all parts of the city due to torrential rains which swelled Kalvo and Sonrakh rivers," the municipal commissioner added.
The IMD also issued a statement, warning fishermen in the state to not take their boats to sea over the next five days.
"High waves in the range of 3.5-4 meters are forecasted from 5:30 pm on July 21 to 11.30 pm of July 23 along the coast from Jakhau to Diu head of Gujarat coast. (Sea) current speeds vary between 61-123 cubic meter per second," the IMD forecasted.
Steps Taken by the Gujarat Government
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel held a meeting at the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) in Gandhinagar on Saturday to review the flood situation in Gujarat, according to a report by The Indian Express.
The state government has ordered two national highways (passing Porbandar and Kutch) and 10 state highways to be closed, owing to the deluge.
Over 302 roads have been closed to traffic, and they will only be opened once the water level goes down, Gujarat Relief Commissioner Alok Pandey was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
"State dams have received plenty of water due to rains in Junagadh Valsad, Gir-Somnath, Porbandar, and other districts. Narmada Dam is filled at 67 per cent while other dams have been completely filled," Pandey further said.
Around nine teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been dispatched to those districts that have been affected by floods, four of which are undertaking rescue and relief operations in Junagadh, the worst-hit.
The disaster response forces have managed to evacuate 736 people so far, in addition to 358 rescued individuals, Gujarat Relief Commissioner Alok Pandey was cited as saying.
Meanwhile, the chances of Delhi witnessing another spell of floods increased after a discharge from the Hathnikund Barrage into the Yamuna river, which is flowing above the danger mark again.
(With inputs from The Indian Express.)