Rain continues to ravage Gujarat, 82 killed; rescue efforts on in Rajasthan
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Rain continues to ravage Gujarat, 82 killed; rescue efforts on in Rajasthan

india Updated: Jul 26, 2017 18:09 IST
Hiral Dave
Hiral Dave
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Gujarat floods,Rajasthan floods,PM Modi

This official handout photograph shows an Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel after being lowered from an helicopter to help residents taking shelter atop a dargah surrounded by flood waters in Gujarat. (AFP Photo)

Incessant rain continued to lash Gujarat on Wednesday, worsening a grim situation in the state’s northern region where tens of thousands of people were marooned by one of the worst floods in recent times.

Several flights were diverted from Ahmedabad on Wednesday with floods damaging parts of the runway, officials said.

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.

At least 90 people have been killed in the two states, 82 of them in Gujarat alone, since the monsoon moved into western India in the early part of this month.

Officials in Ahmedbad said rescue workers of the 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 in the two districts have been rescued in the two districts.

Four air force helicopters, two army columns and 18 NDRF teams have been deployed for rescue and relief operations, officials added. Navy divers have also been deployed to assist rescue workers.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an aerial survey of the flood devastation and announced an interim relief fund of Rs 500 crore to the state where elections are due later this year.

State agriculture minister Chiman Sapariya said the floods have caused extensive crop damage.

A survey, including using satellite images, will be conducted to ascertain the actual extent of damage. Based on this, the state will seek a relief package from the Centre, he added.

Air force helicopters were carrying out sorties to drop food packets to those stranded.

LB Bambhaniya, a senior official of flood-ravaged Banaskantha district , said 350 villages had been waterlogged, hitting cotton and groundnut crops.

“I am worried about the damage to the fields... We will have to provide financial support to farmers,” Bambhaniya said.

The disaster have crippled public transportation with over 1,100 roads inundated. Eleven trains, including the Rajdhani Express, were cancelled or diverted.

Most of schools and colleges in Ahmedabad and north Gujarat districts remained closed. No deaths were reported after Tuesday noon.

In Rajasthan, rescue operations continued in flood-hit Jalore, Sirohi and Pali districts.

On Tuesday, 19 people were rescued from Jalore including seven who had taken shelter on a tree to escape the swirling waters.

The state disaster relief department secretary Hemant Gera said was the “under control” in Jalore and other areas.

An NDRF team was sent to Rajsamand for resuing people after the water level of the Gomathi rose.

A few tourists stranded in Mount Abu were also rescued, he added.

(With inputs from Sachin Saini in Jaipur and agencies)

First Published: Jul 26, 2017 14:17 IST