As flood waters receded on Sunday in the rain-battered Junagadh district of Gujarat a day after torrential rains, the focus now was on restoring normalcy, officials said, adding nearly 3,000 people have been shifted to safer places in the district. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday issued an 'orange' alert for Gujarat, saying the state was expected to receive "heavy to very heavy rainfall" on July 24.
It also predicted heavy to very heavy rains at a few places with isolated extremely heavy rainfall in Devbhumi Dwarka, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Valsad districts in the next 24 hours. Junagadh city recorded 241 mm rainfall in the 24-hour period ending at 6 am on Sunday, causing waterlogging in several parts, leaving damaged cars piled on each other and carcasses of cattle swept away in flash floods, officials said.
Two national highways, 10 state highways and 300 rural roads were closed in Gujarat on Saturday due to flooding, and the traffic resumed at places where water receded, they said. Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel regarding flood-like situation in various parts of the state due to the recent heavy rainfall.
Junagadh Collector Anil Ranavasiya said, "Water has receded from the city after the rains stopped. Around 200 people were rescued and 750 shifted from low-lying areas in the city. Another 2,220 people were shifted to safer places in rural areas adjoining the city as a proactive measure." The effort to restore electricity was nearly completed, and food packets were being distributed to people living in shelters, he said.
Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and fire department were involved in restoring normalcy, Ranavasiya said. "Our main focus now is towards cleanliness in the city. Junagadh city has around 600 cleaning staff, and we are getting another 400 from other districts. So, our focus for today is to clean the city so that normalcy is restored," the collector said.
Cranes were deputed to remove vehicles swept away and damaged due to flooding in some areas, and dewatering pumps were deployed to remove water accumulated in residential areas, he said. On Sunday, parts of Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Botad, Surat and Bharuch were among the districts that received between 50-117 mm rainfall in four hours till 10 am, the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) said.
Bhavnagar taluka of the district received 17 mm rainfall in four hours till 10 am on Sunday, it said. Ahmedabad city recorded 125 mm rainfall in just a couple of hours on Saturday evening, inundating roads and city airport, and inconveniencing commuters and people living in low-lying areas, the SEOC said.
According to officials, the water receded in a few hours, leaving behind damaged two and four-wheelers and flooded basements in some residential areas.