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33 die, including 17 of family, in the past 48 hrs as floods lash Gujarat

Gujarat and Rajasthan are reeling under massive floods, the latest states in the country to face monsoon fury in India where such natural disasters are common through the rainy season.

india Updated: Jul 26, 2017 22:14 IST
Hiral Dave
Hiral Dave
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Gujarat,Gujarat Floods,Monsoon
This photo taken on July 25, 2017 shows people gathering next to a washed away road in Deesa municipality, which has been hit by severe flooding along the Banas River in northern Gujarat state.(AFP Photo)

At least 33 people, including 17 members of a family, have died in the past 48 hours in Banaskantha district of north Gujarat, officials said on Wednesday, where tens of thousands of people have been affected by one of the worst floods in the recent times.

Almost the entire Thakor family at Khariya village drowned in floods caused by incessant rains that have lashed the district in the past three days. The dead include six brothers and their families. Dasaji Thakor was the only survivor from the ill-fated family.

Locals recovered the bodies from the mud after the waters of the Banas River started receding as the rainfall stopped in the afternoon.

“Bodies of 17 people of the Thakor family were brought in a tractor by villagers to the civil hospital. The post-mortem will be conducted,’’ a local police official said.

“According to reports, the family had taken shelter on the terrace amid heavy water logging due to flood in the Banas river. But in the intervening night of Tuesday-Wednesday the water level rose even above the terrace level and the family was drowned,’’ the official added.

Preliminary reports also suggest the Narmada canal, which passes through the village, was also flooded leading to very heavy water logging in the area.

“The entire machinery including NDRF, Indian Army and Air Force were pressed into action for rescue operations. Several thousands were shifted to safer places. But water level rose over 10 to 15 feet in some part of the region. And, this particular family was residing at an agricultural field,’’ revenue minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma said.

The government put the death toll at 94, excluding Wednesday’s latest figure, since the onset of monsoon this year. Among them, 41 died due to drowning, added the minister.

The police sources, however, maintained the toll is likely to rise as several people are still missing.

The government said that of 209 water reservoirs in the state 31, which are overflowing, have been put on high alert.

With heavy downpour expected to continue in the state for the next 24 hours, especially in Saurashtra-Kutch region, the coastal and low-lying areas have been put on alert.

Gujarat and Rajasthan are reeling under massive floods, the latest states in the country to face monsoon fury in India where such natural disasters are common through the rainy season.

Officials in Ahmedabad said National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and army personnel struggled to reach people in the worst-affected Banaskantha and Patan districts where more than 5000 houses in 800-odd villages are under water.

So far, more than 50,000 people have been rescued in the two districts.

First Published: Jul 26, 2017 18:16 IST