Prime Minister Narendra Modi will today conduct an aerial survey of flood-affected Banaskantha and Patan districts in north Gujarat where thousands of people are marooned due to incessant rains. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani called on the prime minister at Parliament House this morning and apprised him of the situation arising out of the heavy rains and flood in parts of the state. The prime minister then decided to undertake an aerial survey of the flood affected areas of north Gujarat, the PMO said. The Army, IAF, NDRF and local teams have intensified rescue and relief operations as several parts of the two districts were inundated with flood water.
During the last 24 hours, at least 12 talukas of Banaskantha, Patan and Sabarkantha districts received over 200 mm of rainfall, a release issued by the State Emergency Operations Centre (SEOC). Dantiwada in Banaskantha remained the worst-hit with a whopping 463 mm rainfall, followed by Palanpur (380 mm), Vadgam(357 mm), Amirgadh(337 mm) and Lakhani (305 mm). “The prime minister would land at the Ahmedabad Airport at around 4 pm and then leave for Banaskantha to conduct an aerial survey of the region, to understand the problems being faced by people,” Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said. At least 400 people were rescued in Banaskantha district this morning. A large number of locals were stranded in the floods after torrential rains wrecked havoc in northern Gujarat for last three days.
As the rains took a break this morning, rescue operations in Banaskantha and Patan districts gained momentum, an official said. Hundreds of people are still waiting to be shifted to safer places, as several parts of these districts are flooded, he said. Three Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters have been deployed in Banskantha to airlift the stranded locals as well as to distribute food packets. One column of Indian Army was also pressed in to rescue people using boats. “The rescue operations are going on in full swing as we are taking the help of Army, IAF, BSF, NDRF and local police. Today, we have rescued around 400 people in Banaskantha with the help of three helicopters of the Air Force,” said state health minister Shanker Chaudhary, who is stationed at Deesa to oversee the rescue operations.
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Since morning, 113 people stranded in Shihori village of the district have been rescued and shifted to safer locations by the Indian Army personnel, who have been conducting the rescue operation using boats, said a release by the Defence PRO. “One MI-17V5 took off from Deesa this morning and proceeded to Totana village and winched up 14 people stuck in the mist of raging flood water to safety,” Defence PRO Abhishek Matiman said. The IAF is also air dropping food packets in the affected areas.
“Over 300 kgs of food packets were air dropped at Gugal, Jenal Varan and neighbouring villages to aid the people marooned since yesterday,” he added. The other places which received very heavy rainfall during the last 24 hours include Patan taluka in Patan district (295 mm), Deodar in Banaskantha (284 mm), Idar in Sabarkantha (282 mm), Dhanera in Banaskantha (275 mm), Himmatnagar in Sabarkantha(230), Saraswati in Patan (217 mm) and Deesa in Banaskantha (210 mm).