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Monsson fury: IMD issues red alert after 14 deaths in south Gujarat, Saurashtra


AHMEDABAD: Parts of south Gujarat and Kutch-Saurashtra regions received very heavy showers in the last 24 hours leaving 14 people dead, while over 31,000 were evacuated so far this rainy season, officials said on Wednesday.

Three national highways in Kutch, Navsari and Dang districts were blocked due to damage caused by rains. Fifty one state highways and over 400 panchayat roads have also been damaged, state Disaster Management Minister Rajendra Trivedi told reporters.

"Fourteen people lost their lives in the last 24 hours. Nine of the deaths were due to drowning," he said.

Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel has directed the administration to carry out a survey of the affected districts at the earliest so that people do not have to wait for long for cash and other reliefs to compensate for damages caused due to the rainfall, he said.

In four hours between 6 and 10 am on Wednesday, parts of Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Dang and Amreli received downpour between 47 mm and 88 mm, according to the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC).

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a 'red alert', predicting heavy rains during the next 24 hours in the districts of Saurashtra and south Gujarat.

Several parts of Kutch, Bharuch, Dang, Navsari and Tapi districts in south Gujarat received very heavy rainfall in the 24-hour period till 6 am on Wednesday.

Rajkot, Gir Somnath, Amreli and Jamnagar were among districts in Saurashtra region that received heavy downpour, officials of the SEOC said.

Trivedi said 31,035 people were shifted to safer places, with 21,094 still living in shelters provided by the respective district administrations and 9,941 returning to their homes after the rain waters receded.

A total of 575 people stranded due to flooding in low-lying areas of different districts were rescued, he said. Eighteen teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were deployed for the rescue work and two kept on standby, Trivedi said.

CM Patel had on Tuesday conducted an aerial inspection of flood-hit areas and also visited affected regions in Chhota Udepur, Navsari and Narmada districts.

The heavy rains have also risen the water levels of various reservoirs in the state, with 30 of them being filled up to 70 per cent or more out of their total storage capacity.

The state's largest Sardar Sarovar Dam is also filled up to 48 per cent of its total capacity, the minister said.

As per the SEOC, Vagra taluka in Bharuch district received 233 mm rainfall in the 24-hour period till 6 am on Wednesday.

Anjar, Kutch and Gandhidham talukas of Kutch district received 212, 197 and 171 mm of rainfall, respectively, while Waghai in Dang recorded 174 mm of rainfall.

As many as 25 talukas received 100 mm or more rainfall during the period, the SEOC said.