18 inches and pouring: Vadodara sees torrential rain

Gandhinagar, July 31 : A major cloudburst in central Gujarat's Vadodara city and around threw normal life out of gear, flooding most areas, with the rainfall touching a whopping 18 inches by Wednesday evening.

It rained 442 mm (nearly 18 inches) between 6 a.m.

and 8 p.m. with as much as 424 mm (or 17 inches) pouring in a space of six hours up to 8 p.m., and it was still raining, according to the State Emergency Operations Centre here.

Vadodara tehsil received the highest rainfall in Gujarat during the last 24 hours with Dabhoi tehsil in the district following at 152 mm, Karjan with 137 mm and Waghodia with 124 mm.

The neigbouring Chhota Upepur and Panchmahal districts received 100 mm rainfall.

Over 100 people were rescued from the swirling waters of the Vishwamitri river from Bhayli suburb in Vadodara, while scores and hundreds in low-lying areas of the city and surrounding tehsils were moving to safety and being evacuated, officials said.

The Vadodara District Collector issued instructions to keep all municipal, government and private schools closed following the heavy rains.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who convened an emergency meeting to take stock of the flood situation in Vadodara, immediately rushed former Vadodara Municipal Commissioner and present Education Secretary Vinod Rao and Urban Development Secretary Lochan Shehra to the city.

The National Disaster Response Force has deployed three rescue teams in the Vadodara region.

Road traffic in not only the city but the entire highway between Vadodara and Surat cities leading to Mumbai was majorly disrupted with traffic jams at several places.

The usually dry Vishwamitri river, which flows through the city, was rising dramatically from 23 feet towards its danger levels of 26 feet, authorities said.

The nearby Ajwa dam's water level also increased to 209.45 feet against its warning level of 215 feet.

The torrential downpour created water clogging in Char Darwaja, Fatehpura, Waghodia Road, Soma Lake and other parts of the city and resulting in traffic jams, stretching a kilometre long, all across the city.

Electricity lines were damaged in some areas, leading to a blackout.

The fire brigade rescue teams and administration have swung into action to resolve the issues.

Moderate to heavy showers also continued in the rest of the state, especially in south Gujarat with certain areas receiving more than 40 mm of rainfall in the last 12 hours.



Source: IANS