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Heavy rains in Gujarat: Several dead, many relocated

Heavy rains lashed parts of Gujarat, including Morbi, Surendranagar and Rajkot districts, leading to reservoirs and rivers overflowing their banks, resulting in the death of one person, officials said today.

Hundreds of people in these three districts were shifted to safer places from low-lying areas near rivers and dams. In Rajkot, authorities have asked citizens not to venture out of their houses.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani held an emergency meeting in the morning to review the situation and ordered the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams to remain stationed in Tankara in Morbi district and Chotila in Surendranagar district.

“A middle-aged couple was swept by water near Jeta Kuba village in Lodhika taluka this morning. While Navalbhai Khunt (45) could not be saved, his wife was rescued,” Rajkot District Collector Vikrant Pandey said.

Chotila in Surendranagar received around 450 mm of rainfall. Other parts of Surendranagar district also got a substantial amount of rain, officials of the state disaster response control room said.

Tankara in Morbi district received 340 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours, the officials said.

“Rajkot city received 400 mm of rainfall till 11 am,” Rajkot Municipal Commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani said, adding that they have alerted citizens not to venture out of their houses.

Water-logging in low-lying areas has closed many roads and thrown life out of gear in Rajkot city, he said.

“Around 2,000 people have been shifted to safer places in Rajkot district, while in Morbi district around 1,400 have been moved to other places,” officials of the disaster control room said.

“The district administration of Surendranagar rescued 12 people who were stranded in water in Bharda village in Dhrangadhra taluka, and three more from Krishnagar Society in Surendranagar town,” they said.

Following heavy rains, Aji and Macchu rivers in Rajkot and Surendranagar districts respectively, have swelled, after which people living in low-lying areas near the river have been alerted.

Rajkot administration said the district disaster team was conducting rescue operation in low-lying areas.

“More than 10 dams in the district are on the verge of overflowing, water level in Nyari 1 and 2, and Aji 3 dams has risen to alert level,” Rajkot collector Pandey said, adding that the NDRF teams have been put on a standby mode and number of people living in the low-lying areas are being taken to safer places.

During the review meeting, the chief minister instructed the state administration to remain extra alert as the weather department has given a warning of heavy rains in the state in the next 48 hours.

“The NDRF teams have been stationed in Tankar, Chotila and Valsad, Surat of South Gujarat and Palanpur in north Gujarat,” a government release said.

South Gujarat region also received heavy rainfall.

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