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Extreme rainfall, destructive floods hit parts of western India


Southwesterly monsoon has brought heavy rains and destructive flooding to parts of western India over the past days, resulting in two fatalities each in Gujarat and Karnataka. Numerous towns recorded more than 100 mm (4 inches) until Monday evening, July 6, 2020, while as many as 70 people were evacuated from the Saurashtra region where 17 dams started overflowing. Power was cut to at least 123 villages after 537 power lines were downed.

Extreme rainfall was reported in the state of Gujarat, in which the Devbhumi Dwarka District recorded 434 mm (17 inches) on July 5, with 292 mm (11 inches) falling between 12:30 to 14:30 UTC (18:00 to 20:00 LT), according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

As many as 70 people were evacuated from the Saurashtra region as downpours continued to lash the area for the second consecutive day on Monday. 17 dams began overflowing, affecting daily life and disrupting road traffic, as well as power supply.

The power supply was disrupted to at least 123 villages after 537 electricity poles were downed.

"We had to evacuate 20 people from Khambhaliya town and 50 fishermen from coastal Bhogat village in Kalyanpur," said Narendra Kumar Meena, district collector of Devbhumi Dwarka.

"No untoward incident has been reported from anywhere in the district though power supply to some villages was disrupted."

Seven National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams were deployed in the cities of Valsad, Navsari, Surat, Porbandar, Dwarka, Rajkot, and Kutch, where more than 100 mm (4 inches) fell. 

Local media reported that one person lost his life in flooding from the Khokhaddadi River near Rajkot, while another died from a lightning strike in Surendranagar. 

In Morbi, the Hariom Society area was flooded after 102 mm (4 inches) of rain fell. Three dams in Devbhumi Dwarka district, six in Jamnagar, seven in Rajkot, and one in Porbandar burst, sending floodwaters.

Major dams also become swollen, including Sani in Devbhumi Dwarka; Und-I, Kankavati, Fulzar, Vadisang in Jamnagar district; Aji-II, Aji-III, Nyari-III, and Venu-II in Rajkot and Sorathi in Porbandar.

In Karnataka, a landslide occurred in Kaikamba, a suburban town of Mangalore on July 5. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said three houses were badly damaged and two people were killed by the incident.

IMD forecasts very heavy rainfall until Thursday, July 9.

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Featured image credit: NDRF

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