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Heavy rains lashed parts of Gujarat, including Morbi, Surendranagar and Rajkot districts, leading to reservoirs and rivers overflowing their banks, resulting in the death of one person, officials said today. Hundreds of people in these three districts were shifted to safer places from low-lying areas near rivers and dams.
In Rajkot, authorities have asked citizens not to venture out of their houses. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani held an emergency meeting this morning to review the situation and ordered the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams to remain stationed in Tankara in Morbi district and Chotila in Surendranagar district. "A middle-aged couple was swept by water near Jeta Kuba village in Lodhika taluka this morning. While Navalbhai Khunt (45) could not be saved, his wife was rescued," Rajkot District Collector Vikrant Pandey said. Chotila in Surendranagar received around 450 mm of rainfall. Other parts of Surendranagar district also got substantial amount of rain, officials of the state disaster response control room said. Tankara in Morbi district received 340 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours, the officials said. "Rajkot city received 400 mm of rainfall till 11 am," Rajkot Municipal Commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani said, adding that they have alerted citizens not to venture out of their houses. Water-logging in low-lying areas has closed many roads and thrown life out of gear in Rajkot city, he said. "Around 2,000 people have been shifted to safer places in Rajkot district, while in Morbi district around 1,400 have been moved to other places," officials of the disaster control room said. "The district administration of Surendranagar rescued 12 people who were stranded in water in Bharda village in Dhrangadhra taluka, and three more from Krishnagar Society in Surendrnagar town," they said. Following heavy rains, Aji and Macchu rivers in Rajkot and Surendranagar districts respectively, have swelled, after which people living in low-lying areas near the river have been alerted. Rajkot administration said the district disaster team was conducting rescue operation in low-lying areas. "More than 10 dams in the district are on the verge of overflowing, water level in Nyari 1 and 2, and Aji 3 dams has risen to alert level," Rajkot collector Pandey said, adding that the NDRF teams have been put on a standby mode and more number of people living in the low-lying areas are being taken to safer places. During the review meeting, the chief minister instructed the state administration to remain extra alert as the weather department has given a warning of heavy rains in the state in the next 48 hours. "The NDRF teams have been stationed in Tankar, Chotila and Valsad, Surat of South Gujarat and Palanpur in north Gujarat," a government release said. South Gujarat region also received heavy rainfall. Other places which received heavy rainfall include Muli (160 mm) in Surendranagar district, Padadhari (159 mm) in Rajkot district, Kapadvanj (144 mm) in Kheda district, Kalol (133 mm) in Gandhinagar district, Vankaner (132 mm) in Morbi district, Jamnagar (124 mm), Deesa (117 mm) and Mahisagar (107 mm). The State Emergency Operation Centre said high-alert has been issued for seven out of 203 dams, and alert for four. The high-alert has been issued for Fatehgadh in Kutch district, Kankavati in Jamnagar, Demi 3 and Machhu 3 in Morbi district, Khodapiper in Rajkot, and Marshal and Trivenisang in Surendranagar district. Alert has been issued for Dholi in Bharuch district, Und-2 in Jamnagar, Aji 2 in Rajkot, Dholidhaja in Surendranagar. Of the 15,770.39 million cubic metre water capacity of the dams across the state, 5,217.85 million cubic metre water has been received this season. Water level in Sardar Sarovar dam has gone up to 117 metres, and the dam is 85.26 per cent full.
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