Five killed, 14 injured as heavy rain continues in Gujarat

Cyclonic storm off Gujarat coast, IMD warns fishermen

Five persons died and 14 others were injured following heavy rain in Saurashtra and Kutch during the last two days, the local administration said Thursday. While two persons died in Jamnagar, one death each was reported from Kheda Junagadh and Devbhoomi Dwarka.

Also, 35 cattle deaths were reported from the state in addition to complete damage to nearly a dozen kutcha houses and half a dozen pukka houses in the worst affected districts of Saurashtra.

As per local administration and state authorities, nearly 2,500 persons were relocated from low lying areas on Thursday while over 30 were rescued from Saurashtra region with the help of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

One Palabhai Mori drowned while crossing a causeway on Kil Ganga river in a forest area of Devbhoomi Dwarka’s Bhanvad taluka. Another death from Junagadh district was reported of Kanabhai Odedra in Mangrol taluka when he was struck by lightning.

Jamnagar district authorities said that on Wednesday morning 42-year-old Bijalbhai Kotadiya of Kalavad taluka was died due to drowning while crossing Dhoravadi river bridge on his motorbike. The fourth death was reported from Jamjodhpur taluka of Jamnagar district of 55-year-old Dhansurbhai Bhasadiya, who drowned while crossing a causeway near Kotda Bavisi village on his bullock cart. Another death due to drowning was reported on September 29 when Maheshbhai Parmar of Kapadwanj Taluka in Kheda slipped into the village pond.

Nearly a dozen persons were rescued from Devbhoomi Dwarka’s Raval Nilkanth Mahadev Temple in a joint operation of Raval nagarpalika fire department team and NDRF. Kalyanpur in Devbhoomi Dwarka recorded the highest rainfall at 113 mm in the state. Another 18 persons were rescued in Babapur village of Amreli taluka by local authorities Wednesday night.

Among the persons shifted to safer places include 262 from Amreli, 557 from Bharuch, 473 from Bhavnagar, 247 from Gir Somnath, 280 from Devbhoomi Dwarka, 505 from Porbandar, 132 from Ahmedabad, 36 from Rajkot and six from Jamnagar.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned that the depression off the Gujarat coast is likely to intensify into a deep depression over the northeast Arabian Sea by Thursday night and intensify into a cyclonic storm by Friday. IMD has also issued a forecast of very heavy rain events over Saurashtra and Kutch till Friday with the wind speed expected to rise from 70-80 kmph to 90 kmph along and off the Gujarat coast.

With the depression over the northeast Arabian Sea off Gujarat coast set to intensify, the sea is expected to turn hostile in the next couple of days. High tides are expected along and off the Gujarat coast Friday, followed by ‘very rough’ conditions Saturday.

“After Friday, it is likely to continue to move west-northwestwards towards Pakistan–Makran coasts, moving away from the Indian coast. The system will not hit the Indian Coast,” the IMD bulletin stated. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into north and adjoining central Arabian Sea and along and off Gujarat and north Maharashtra coasts from Thursday till Saturday.

Meanwhile, Saurashtra and Kutch received heavy rainfall Thursday owing to the depression. Ninety talukas across Gujarat received rainfall Thursday with Kalyanpur in Devbhoomi Dwarka recording the highest at 113 mm. Chotila and Thangadh in Surendranagar recorded 56 mm and 52 mm rainfall respectively, while Dwarka received 44 mm, Mandvi 47 mm, Nakhatrana 38 mm, Abdasa 38 mm and Lakhpat in Kutch received 47 mm.

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