Parts of Gujarat continue to reel under downpour; Navsari worst hit, 3 NHs shut

Ahmedabad: Heavy rains continued to pound several parts of Gujarat and some rivers were in spate in Navsari district where many areas went under knee-deep water, forcing authorities to evacuate more than 100 people, officials said on Thursday.

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There was no immediate respite in sight as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted “heavy to very heavy rain” on Friday at several places across Gujarat, mainly in southern parts of the state and the Saurashtra region.

Since Thursday morning, significant rainfall was reported in south Gujarat’s Navsari district, with Chikhli taluka receiving 209 mm between 6am and 4pm. Chikhli was followed by Gandevi (205 mm), Navsari taluka (187 mm), Vansda (157 mm) and Jalalpor (154 mm), a release from the State Emergency Operations Centre (SEOC) said.

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Incessant showers have been lashing many parts of the state since the last four days.

Notably, Vansda taluka of Navsari district received a whopping 394 mm rainfall in the 24-hour period ended at 6 am of Thursday, said the release.

Kaprada and Dharampur taluka in Valsad district received 377 mm and 340 mm rains, respectively, during the same period, it said.

With several areas of Navsari town and the district inundated, authorities, with the help of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force), rescued 108 persons from different parts of Chikhli and Vansada taluka and shifted them to safer places, said Gujarat Revenue Minister Rajendra Trivedi after meeting officials at SEOC in Gandhinagar.

“NDRF also used an Indian Coast Guard helicopter to airlift six persons in Chikhli.

Gandevi taluka is also facing heavy water-logging. Of the total 19 teams of NDRF deployed across the state, four are in Navsari. We have also deployed two teams of SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) to carry out rescue operations in the district,” said Trivedi.

Apart from Navsari, 45 people stranded in Tapi and Vadodara districts were rescued in the early hours of Thursday by authorities, said a government release.

Due to incessant rains and rising levels of the Purna and Ambika rivers, many areas in Navsari city, Bilimora town and other parts of the district were under knee-deep water, officials said.

Navsari Collector Amit Yadav in the morning asked commuters to avoid Chikhli-Valsad stretch of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai Highway as it was water-logged.

“The highway was reopened for traffic in the afternoon, but it was closed again in the evening due to rising water level. Two other national highways, one each passing from Dang and Kutch, are currently shut due to water-logging. Moreover, 27 state highways are also closed across Gujarat following heavy rains,” Trivedi told reporters.

Since July 7, 43 persons have lost their lives in various rain-related incidents such as lightning strikes, across the state, said the minister, adding of the total 39,177 people shifted to safer places so far, nearly 17,300 have returned to their homes, while nearly 21,200 are still living in shelters.

The IMD has predicted “heavy to very heavy rain” on Friday at several places across Gujarat.

“Some parts of Navsari and Dang districts may get extremely heavy rainfall on Friday.

The monsoon may get vigorous over Saurashtra and Kutch. This may result in extremely heavy rain at some places of Amreli, Bhavnagar, Junagadh and Gir Somnath districts on Friday,” said Director of Meteorological Centre, Manorama Mohanty.

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