Heavy rains lashed south and east central Gujarat causing flood like situation in localities alongside rivers flowing through Valsad, Navsari and Surat districts and killing at least five persons at two places, officials said on Tuesday.
Auranga river in Valsad was flowing above danger level, due to incessant rains, flooding three villages situated in low-lying areas along its bank, district disaster management officials said.
Three persons drowned at Bhagrawada village in coastal Valsad, while two other drowned in Orsang river near Bodeli in Chhota Udepur district, officials said.
Three bodies have been fished out while operation was on to find other two, they said.
In south Gujarat, Valsad received 245 mm rainfall in 24 hours till Tuesday morning, Navsari 96 mm, Dangs 104 mm of rainfall. Chhota Udepur in east-central Gujarat received 28 mm rainfall. The state has received 299.27 mm rainfall, or 37.55 per cent of average rainfall.
Several low-lying localities in Valsad city including Andhiawad and Kasturba hospital area were also affected, with reports of persons stranded on roof top being relocated to safe areas, they said.
Pardi town in Valsad district was also affected with several persons in Kosamba in coastal Valsad having been rescued by Indian Coastguard helicopter.
"A helicopter of the Indian Coast Guard from Daman along with teams of the National Disaster Relief Force from Surat were pressed into action along with local police to carry out rescue operations in affected villages, mainly those situated along the coastal areas," Valsad Collector Remya Mohan said.
Water level at Auranga river was recorded at 11.5 metres, which is about one metre above the danger mark, disaster management officials said.
Damanganga river in Vapi in Valsad district was also flowing near danger level due to water released from Madhuban dam in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, they said.
In Navsari, Ambika river was flowing near the danger level, with nearly a dozen villages affected due to flooding, officials said. Gandevi in Navsari was particularly affected with several villages cut off due to flooding of connecting bridge over Ambika river. As a precautionary measure, the district administration has asked people living in the low-lying areas to relocate.
Several areas in Bardoli in Surat district were also flooded, affecting road and rail connectivity.
At least two persons were killed in Bodeli in Chhota Udepur district when they drowned in Orsang river that began overflowing due to heavy rains, officials said.
Ajay Rathwa and Naresh Rathwa had went praying on the banks of the river when one of them slipped and started drowning. When the other tried to rescue him, he also drowned. Rescue teams carried out operation to fish out their bodies.
The India Meteorological Department officials has sounded alert for the next 48 hours in south, east-central and north Gujarat regions.
"We have given alert for next 48 hours. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected in South, East Central and North Gujarat. Cyclonic circulation over Gujarat region between 3.1 to 3.6 kilometre above sea level is causing rains in these regions," Jayanta Sarkar, director, IMD, Ahmedabad, said.