Saturday, July 25, 2009

Over 9,000 people evacuated from Junagadh and Porbandar districts

Over 9,000 people evacuated from Junagadh and Porbandar districts
Express India

As many as 9,400 people have been evacuated from Junagadh and Porbandar districts following flooding due to incessant rainfall in the last three days.

The rains finally stopped on Friday. Though it did bring much relief to the people residing along the coastal cities and villages in Junagadh district, the excess shower did cause much damage to the roads and the agriculture sector.

Apparently, some 38 villages under Veraval, Mangarol and Kodinar talukas have been marooned. These villages have remained cut off since the last three days.

The situation in the marooned villages is said to have worsened compared to the city areas, as no official help has reached there. As many as 8,000 people from Veraval, Mangrol and the surrounding villages have been evacuated since Thursday, according to officials.

A house collapse was reported in Koliwada area of Mangarol city on Friday, but no one was reported injured, officials said.

Besides the local administration, three companies of national disaster response force and two companies of State Reserve Police Force have been pressed into service to carry out relief and rescue operations in the flood-hit areas of Junagadh district.

The district administration has distributed some 10,000 food packets in the flood-hit areas.

Rivers flowing from the Gir forest to the plains, namely Machhundri, Devka, Hiran, and Shingoda are flowing with full force. Dams constructed on these rives are either overflowing or their sluice gates have been opened, said officials. The situation in the adjoining Porbandar district has also worsened.

Authorities evacuated some 1,400 people from Porbandar district following heavy rainfall in Porbandar (10 inches), Rananvav (8 inches), and Kutiyana and Madhavpur (6 inches) in the last 12 hours.

Waterlogging was reported from several places in Porbandar city, including Chhaya, Bokhira and the Jubilee area of the city. Many city roads went under knee-deep water, while the rural areas remained cut-off from the main centre.

"More than 1,400 people have been shifted to safer places. The administration is expecting the Army to arrive from Gandhinagar and Jamnagar. Food packets have been prepared even as survey is on to get the full assessment of the damage," said Porbandar disaster mamlatdar M M Khandar.

Three platoons of the Army have been called in for relief work. They are expected to reach the district headquarters by Friday night.

Some 25 kaccha-houses on the Madhavpur shore were badly damaged by gushing seawater on Thursday night.

A fishing boat was reported capsized at sea between the Porbandar and Madhavpur coasts. But three fishermen onboard the vessel managed to reach the shore safely, though one fisherman from the same boat was reported missing, sources said.

Waterlogging has badly affected traffic on the state highways as well. The state highways connecting Mangarol-Veraval, Mangarol-Keshod, Porbandar-Veraval and Una-Kodinar were closed to traffic for the second consecutive day today. Except for highway connecting Rajkot, all other links connecting the coastal districts to Dwarka, Veraval and Junagadh were snapped.

Besides, inter-connecting roads in the rural areas were completely washed out in the floodwaters. Areas like Barda and Ghed are submerged in three to five feet deep water.

Three cabinet ministers, Vaju Vala, Anandiben Patel and Nitin Patel rushed to Porbandar in the afternoon to take stock of the situation and did an aerial survey of the region.

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