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Surat: Floods may worsen

Last updated on: August 09, 2006 16:46 IST

The flood situation in Surat, which is already grim, is likely to worsen on Wednesday, due to high tide in the Gulf of Khambat, officials said.

Owing to the continuous release of nine lakh cusecs of water from the Ukai dam in river Tapti, more than 80 percent of Surat is already under water, police commissioner Sudhir Sinha told PTI.

The situation is likely to worsen due to high tide in the Gulf of Khambhat as the sea is not absorbing the river water, officials said. "The water logging will continue for two to three days as the release of nine lakh cusecs of water still continues from the Ukai dam," Sinha said.

Most of 35 lakh population of Surat is badly affected by the worst deluge ever faced by the city, which has also claimed six lives.

Sinha said the casualties will go up if the water sheet covers first floor of houses and buildings in the vicinity of Tapti river.

"As of now the situation is under control as people are taking shelter on roof tops," he said adding that people are facing extreme problem of procuring food, water, medicine and milk.

Surat MLA Dhiru Gajera said, "Though human casualties are less until now, hundreds of cattle, stray dogs and cats have died in the flooding."

Meanwhile, road and rail traffic has been disrupted in many parts of the state due to flooding in the river Tapti.

All trains plying towards Mumbai from Ahmedabad have been halted at Kalupur railway station of Ahmedabad as water has flooded the tracks between Surat and Bhaurch.

Passengers of Secunderabad-Rajkot Express, Jodhpur-Trivandrum Express are stranded at Ahmedabad station as the these trains are halted. National Highway 8, connecting Ahmedabad to Mumbai is also flooded between Surat and Bharuch, officials said.

In Surat, the telecommunication network, including mobile and landline services, was disrupted by the floods and the dministration used satellite phones and ham radios to tide over the problem to some extent, officials said.

Several persons who had come to the city especially for raksha bandhan were stranded at different spots.

Vasant Patel, a resident of Visavadar town in Saurashtra region, said he was stranded at Laskan village and unable to contact his sister. "I do not even know whether she and her family are safe," he said.

To escape the swirling waters, people have taken shelter on rooftops and on the top floors of high-rise buildings.

Ten companies of the army were engaged in rescue operations with boats. The air force was air dropping food packets and water pouches to stranded people in Surat.

However, Gajera said there were lack of adequate boats for rescue operations.

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