Heavy rain batters Gujarat; Narmada, Mahisagar rivers in full spate

Flooding in Narmada, Bharuch and Anand districts

Sardar Sarovar Dam | via Commons Representation. Sardar Sarovar Dam | via Commons

Thousands were evacuated from low-lying areas of Gujarat after heavy rains caused flooding in the districts of Ahmedabad, Anand and Bharuch. The downpour also caused rivers Narmada and Mahisagar to overflow, resulting in flooding in nearby areas.

Parts of Panchmahal, Mahisagar, Sabarkantha, Aravalli, Kheda, Dahod, Vadodara and Ahmedabad districts were among the worst hit by the downpours on Sunday. Over 9,600 people were shifted to safety and 207 others were rescued in five districts on Sunday. These include 5,744 people in Bharuch, 2,317 in Narmada, 1,462 in Vadodara, 20 in Dahod, and 70 in Panchmahal. 

Those shifted to safer places include people from 28 affected villages and those located near the world's tallest monument the Statue of Unity in Narmada district, officials said. 

Many from Kherda village in Anand district were also rescued on Monday after river Mahisagar spilt over.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for Panchmahal, Dahod, Kheda, Aravalli, Mahisagar, Banaskantha and Sabarkantha districts predicting isolated extremely heavy rainfall till Tuesday morning. It has also warned of isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall in Gujarat in its forecast till Thursday morning. 

Besides the Mahisagar, Narmada also breached the danger mark after water from the Sardar Sarovar Dam was released into the river. The reservoir touched its full level of 138.68 metres on Sunday morning due to heavy rain in catchment areas in Madhya Pradesh. However, the water level of the dam fell by 10 lakh cusecs after the opening of 23 gates.

The overflowing Narmada then inundated parts of the Vadodara and Bharuch districts. Besides Narmada, rain-fed rivers such as Orsang, Heran, Mahi, Meshri and Panam are also swollen due to heavy rain coupled with the release of water from various dams. 

At least ten major dams are near their overflowing marks including Ukai, Damanganga, Kadana and Bhadar, the government data shows.

The authorities have deployed SDRF and NDRF personnel after the situation worsened. The government has deployed two teams of NDRF in Narmada, and one each in Bharuch, Rajkot, Junagadh and Vadodara, officials said.

Three teams each of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) are being deployed in Narmada and Vadodara and one SDRF team in Dahod, Bharuch and Banaskantha to carry out relief and rescue operations. Two teams of Army are on standby in Vadodara, officials added.

Gujarat has so far received nearly 90.8 per cent of the average annual rainfall, with Kutch and Saurashtra regions recording 137 per cent and 111 per cent rainfall, followed by south, east-central and north Gujarat with 85%, 83% and 76% of rainfall, respectively, as per SEOC data. 

(With PTI inputs)


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