Published: Fri, July 28, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

17 of a family found dead in Banaskantha village; toll 123

17 of a family found dead in Banaskantha village; toll 123

Rescue operations yesterday resumed in rain-hit areas of Rajasthan's Jalore district where 19 people have been rescued.

According to the figures of the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC), 72 people have drowned in Gujarat this monsoon, including 42 in Banaskantha. An IAF chopper appears above him, dropping a rope, and he makes a slow, suspense-filled ascent, finally helped into the helicopter by the Air Force officers. 25,000 people were shifted, mostly in Banaskantha, as it witnessed its worst floods in recent years. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Indian Air Force and other agencies have so far rescued 214 stranded people. It also warned of extremely heavy rain at some places in Banskantha, Sabarkantha, Patan and Mehsana districts tomorrow. North Gujarat was especially affected, with 1,000 rescued and 15,000 moved to safety over the last two days.

The situation in Gujarat and Rajasthan is expected to worsen with the MeT department predicting heavy to very heavy rain over Gujarat and Rajasthan for the next 24 hours.

Twelve NDRF teams are being airlifted and rushed to flood-hit areas of Gujarat, a senior official today said.

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It is reported 20 Gujarat state highways are submerged, while train services between the state capital Ahmedabad and New Delhi have been suspended after tracks flooded. Two main dams in Banaskantha, Dharoi and Sipu are overflowing, forcing the authorities to release waters in downstream rivers.

Vadgam, Dhanera, Amirgadh, Palanpur and Dantiwada taluka of Banskantha district received rainfall of 97 mm, 91 mm, 83 mm, 68 mm and 61 mm respectively. "More than two lakh food packets have been sent to Banaskantha from other districts", Gujarat Principal Secretary Pankaj Kumar said. The situation in the state has intensified in recent days by heavy rain Monday and Tuesday were evacuated about 36 000 people.

While the state government claims adequate relief was provided to all flood affected, there are accusations of laxity in rescue and relief efforts. The traffic was thin and people preferred to stay indoors.Rains took a respite in Saurashtra region, helping the administration to begin taking stock of the damage and work on rebuilding roads to re-establish connectivity with the habitats cut-off due to torrential rains.

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