Four Dead as Rains Wreak Havoc in Vadodara, 5,000 Evacuated, Airport Closed
The Vadodara airport has been closed since Wednesday and several trains passing through the city too have been cancelled or diverted due to heavy water-logging on tracks.
Commuters move slowly through a flooded street following incessant rains, in Vadodara, Wednesday, July 31, 2019. (PTI)
Ahmedabad/Vadodara: Four persons were killed and over 5,000 have been evacuated from Vadodara city and surrounding areas in Central Gujarat which was battered by nearly 500 mm of rain in 24 hours till Thursday morning.
The Vadodara airport has been closed since Wednesday and several trains passing through the city too have been cancelled or diverted due to heavy water-logging on tracks. Water from the overflowing Vishwamitri river entered several localities in the city, bringing with it a few crocodiles.
Four labourers died in wall collapse in Vadodara city on Wednesday evening, chief minister Vijay Rupani said. As per the figures provided by the state government, the city received a staggering 499 mm of rainfall in 24 hours ending 8 am on Thursday.
Of this, 286 mm of rain fell in just four hours, between 4 pm to 8 pm on Wednesday, the release said. 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 1 lakh packets have been kept ready," he told reporters.
Rupani said water from the Vishwamitri entered low-lying areas after Ajwa dam overflowed due to a 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 remained clear, he said.
Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), two columns of Army and 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," the chief minister said.
Efforts are on to clear water from the runway so that the Vadodara airport can resume operations by evening, Rupani said.
As the Vishwamitri is home to several crocodiles, some of them entered the city with floodwaters. 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 a record rainfall on Wednesday. Gujarat is likely to receive heavy rains in the next three days, he added.
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