At Least 123 Dead in Floods as Rain Continues to Pound Gujarat
Schools and colleges have been closed.
Heavy rains pounded Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar districts, disrupting rail and road traffic, even as people dissatisfied with relief measures clashed with police in Arvalli district on 27 July.
Swirling floodwaters washed a part of a railway line, leading to suspension of 36 trains from the Ahmedabad division of Western Railway. Six trains were diverted, one was rescheduled and 14 were short-terminated, Railway officials said.
State administration officials said 54,517 people have been shifted to safer places over the last one week due to flooding of low-lying areas.
Officials said the number of people who have lost their lives due to downpours in the state stood at 123 till 26 July.
The district administration has ordered closure of schools and colleges. Many private offices and shops did not open up till late in the afternoon due to heavy rains.
Following the release of water from the Dharoi dam into the Sabarmati river, teams of the district administration and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) shifted around 10,000 people, including nearly 2,500 from 11 locations within the city, during the morning hours, collector Avantika Singh said.
"The release of water from the Vasna barrage into the river has also caused inundation of low-lying areas," she said.
Portions of at least 20 buildings collapsed fue to heavy rains and water-logging. Three persons were injured when a building crumbled in Gaekwad Haveli locality early on 27 July, Ahmedabad Chief Fire Officer M Dastoor said.
The Ahmedabad airport runway was partly flooded due to heavy rains, though it did not affect the air traffic, its director Manoj Gangal said. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation warned people not to venture near electricity poles and streetlights to avoid electrocution.
Relief and rescue operations were intensified in the badly-affected districts of Banaskantha and Patan after a let-up in rainfall, with 15 Indian Air Force helicopters and 10 National Disaster Response Force, 11 State Disaster Response Force and six Border Security Force teams working in the region, officials said.
Twenty-one IAF helicopters were pressed into service which rescued 138 people and dropped 27.37 tons of food packets, a defence release said. Army personnel have so far rescued 1,925 people, mainly in the worst-affected region of Deesa in Banaskantha district, it said.
Meanwhile, rescue and relief operations are on in Banaskantha and Patan districts which were flooded due to heavy rainfall and water released into the Banas and Sipu rivers from the Dantewada and Sipu dams a few days ago.
A mob of around 2,000 people blocked the state highway at Modasa in Arvalli district, protesting administration's failure to clear waterlogged residential areas. According to the figures of the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC), 72 people have drowned in Gujarat this monsoon, including 42 in Banaskantha. Thirty-two dams in the state are filled to the brim.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took an aerial survey on 25 July, to assess the flood affected areas.
(With inputs from PTI)
Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
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