5 Dead, Over 5,000 Evacuated as Rains Wreak Havoc in Vadodara
Civic authorities had asked all schools in Vadodara city to remain closed on 1 August.
Five people were killed and over 5,700 were evacuated from Vadodara city and surrounding areas in central Gujarat, which received nearly 500 mm of rains in 24 hours till the morning of Thursday, 1 August.
While roads were unusable due to water-logging and several trains were cancelled, operations at the Vadodara Airport were resumed late on Thursday evening.
Most parts of the city remain inundated in spite of the rain’s intensity decreasing, since water from the Vishwamitri river started entering the city as it breached its banks.
Several trains passing through the city were cancelled and roads in and around the city were submerged even on late Thursday evening.
Water from the overflowing Vishwamitri river entered several localities in the city, bringing with it a few crocodiles.
Vadodara city in central Gujarat had received a staggering 499 mm of rainfall since Wednesday, 31 July, forcing the airport to be shut, the cancellation of a few trains and heavy water-logging.
Schools in the city remained closed on Thursday. Rains also lashed on other parts of the state, including Ahmedabad city and central Gujarat. Floodgates of the Ajwa Dam were opened by authorities to reduce flooding.
NDRF teams have also been deployed to help stranded residents and commuters and the Army also rescued marooned citizens from across the city.
Western Railways said some trains passing through the city were either cancelled or diverted due to “heavy water-logging”. Between 8 am and 8 pm, Vadodara received 442 mm of rainfall, the highest in Gujarat on Wednesday, said a release by the state government.
The torrential rain and water overflowing from the Vishwamitri has flooded most areas, Rupani said in state capital Gandhinagar after reviewing the situation from the State Emergency Operation Centre there.
Four labourers were killed when a wall collapsed due to the heavy rain in Chhani area of Vadodara, he added.
“Heavy rains, coupled with water overflowing from the Vishwamitri has created a flood-like situation in Vadodara. So far we have evacuated over 5,000 people from different areas. Local administration has distributed around 75,000 food packets and another one lakh packets have been kept ready.”Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister, Gujarat
Rupani said that water from the Vishwamitri entered low-lying areas after Ajwa Dam overflowed due to heavy downpour upstream. As the rain has stopped at present, the situation is likely to improve in the next four to five hours if the weather remains clear, he said.
Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), two columns of the Army and the fire brigade have been pressed into service to help stranded people, Rupani said.
“We have also decided to send five more NDRF teams to Vadodara. With the intervention of the Prime Minister’s Office, three teams would land there by helicopter from Pune, while two teams would reach by road. Local administration has also installed de-watering pumps to remove water from inundated areas.”Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister, Gujarat
As the Vishwamitri is home to several crocodiles, some of them entered the city with the floodwater. Videos of crocodiles near housing societies were uploaded on social media.
The Forest Department as well as some NGOs are keeping a close watch on the movement of crocodiles and three of them have been captured, the chief minister said. State Meteorological Department’s Director Jayanta Sarkar said the city received record rainfall on Wednesday.
Gujarat is likely to receive heavy rains in the next three days, he added.
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