Four people were killed and over 5,000 evacuated on Thursday from Vadodara and its adjoining areas in central Gujarat after torrential rain lashed parts of the state, PTI reported. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that the deceased were all labourers who died in a wall collapse in Vadodara.
“Heavy rains, coupled with water overflowing from the Vishwamitri has created a flood-like situation in Vadodara,” Rupani was quoted as saying. “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.”
The city has received 499 mm of rainfall in a span of 24 hours, of which 286 mm of downpour was recorded within four hours between 4 pm and 8 pm, a state government release said. The India Meteorological Department has predicted that the state would receive heavy to very heavy rainfall till August 3. It also said that strong winds with speed reaching 40 to 50 kmph were likely to prevail over certain parts of the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and along and off Gujarat-Maharashtra-Goa coasts, adding that fishermen should not venture into these areas.
Rupani said that five more National Disaster Response Force teams would be sent 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,” the chief minister was quoted as saying. “Local administration has also installed de-watering pumps to remove water from inundated areas.” Authorities were also working on clearing water from the runway so that the Vadodara airport, which had been shut on Wednesday, can resume operations, Rupani added.
After a video of a crocodile seen in a waterlogged area of Vadodara went viral on social media, the forest department and some non-governmental organisations have been on the lookout for crocodiles. The chief minister said that they may have entered the city after the Vishwamitri river had overflown, adding that three of them have been captured.
The National Disaster Response Force was deployed to evacuate residents in Vadodara on Wednesday night after the city was hit by heavy rain followed by flash floods. Some trains were cancelled by the Western Railway due to waterlogging on tracks, while some were diverted.