Ahmedabad: Heavy rains which disrupted rail and road traffic, claimed the lives of at least six people in Gujarat, district authorities said.
Rains continued to lash almost the entire state for the third day on Wednesday resulting in rising water levels of rivers and overflowing of dams, forcing evacuation of over 50,000 people from low lying areas across the state.
A fire department official said one person died due to electrocution in Ahmedabad's Naroda area and two drowned in Bharuch district, while the body of a missing man was found in Surat district's Mandvi taluka today, authorities said.
Two people died in Gadvel village of Kheda district while their daughter was seriously injured after their house collapsed due to heavy rains, officials said, adding the girl has been admitted to the hospital.
Railway officials said 18 trains were cancelled and three trains rescheduled. One train was partially cancelled between Ahmedabad and Mumbai after waterlogging at Vadodara division. The routes of 18 other trains were diverted.
In Bharuch district, more than 16,000 people were shifted to safer places after heavy rains.
"Around 16,000 people were shifted to safer places from Bharuch city and other parts of the district. The water level of Narmada river on Golden bridge is receding but the rain has been unrelenting," Bharuch Collector Avantika Singh said.
Surat Collector J Shivhare said that more than 15,000 people from Surat city and other parts of the district who were moved to safer places due to rise in the water level of Tapi river, were provided food packets and other basic facilities.
Shivhare said educational institutions would remain shut on Thursday as water entered low lying areas of Surat city due to heavy rains.
Meanwhile, rescue operations are on in Vadodara's worst-affected ten villages of Karjan, Padra and Vadodara (rural), while people have been shifted to safer places using boats, Vadodara collector Vinod Rao told PTI.
"Teams of NDRF, fire brigade and district administration are engaged in this operation," Rao said, adding that over 25,000 people from the 114 affected villages of Vadodara and Chhotaudepur districts were shifted to safer places after heavy rains hit the two districts in the past 24 hours.
Many areas in Vadodara city got waterlogged as water level of the Vishwamitri river hovered at 28.6 feet, two feet above danger level of 26 feet this evening.
Deputy Municipal Commissioner of Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) C M Makwana told PTI that about 3,900 people were shifted to safer places from low-lying areas of city like Parshuram Bhatta, Sayajigunj, Sanjayanagar, Rajivnagar, Maharajanagar, Kalali, Karelibaug, Sama and other places.
He said it would take about six hours for the water level to go down at bridges across the Vishwamitri river, running through the city.
Meanwhile, in Saurashtra, moderate to heavy downpour during the last 24 hours affected normal life and hit road traffic to Mumbai badly.
Visavadar town in Junagadh district recorded over 200 mm rainfall during the last 24 hours, followed by Rajkot, which recorded 125 mm, while Amreli and Bhavnagar recorded 100 mm and 78 mm respectively, meteorological department sources said here today.
Attendance of students was thin in schools and colleges in Rajkot city.
There was, however, no report of any rain-related casualty in Saurashtra region during the last 24 hours, police said.
Ahmedabad city also witnessed heavy rains causing waterlogging in low lying areas due to which traffic movement was affected. The city received 100 mm of overnight rains.
Eight National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams were deployed for relief and rescue operations in different parts of the state, with three teams deployed in Bharuch, two in Vadodara, two in Surat and one in Navsari.
Weathermen have predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in North Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kutch during the next 36 hours, while South Gujarat region is expected to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall during the next 12 hours.
Persistence of upper air cyclonic circulation over Gujarat region and its neighbourhood extending up to mid-tropospheric levels have been attributed to the current spell of heavy rainfall in the state.