Flood situation worsens across India, thousands affected

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The IAF helicopter successfully rescued a person who was stranded inside a marooned “Dargah” in Limbdi taluka of the same district

The official death toll from the floods in India s westernmost state stands at 119, with more than 36,000 people evacuated to safe areas as helicopters and boats try to reach those still stranded. Tharad received 24 inches of rain, Dhanera 20, Dantiwada 18, Palanpur 15, Deesa and Diyodar 13 each, Patan 12 and Vadgam about 11 inches. Two Air India flights have been diverted to Mumbai. As many as 25,000 people were shifted, mostly in Banaskantha, as the district witnessed its worst floods in recent years on Monday. At least 650 people were rescued from the Banaskantha district on Wednesday out of which, 272 were airlifted, reports TOI.

The large-scale flooding in Gujarat prompted authorities to declare a state-wide "high alert" even as teams from disaster relief forces, Army and Air Force remained involved in rescue operations. At least 500 medical professionals including doctors, paramedics and health workers have fanned out across the district to survey the flood-hit areas and distribute chlorine tablets and ORS packets to ensure that there is no outbreak of any epidemic. Efforts were on to evacuate 30-40 more from Sirohi and Jhabadiya village in north Gujarat, Defence Ministry spokesperson Wing Commander Abhishek Matimaan said. The Dholidhaja, Vansal and Nimbam dams in Surendranagar; the Machchhu-1 and Ghodadharoi in Morbi; and the Kankawati dam in Jamnagar districts are at 90 percent capacity. The arid Kutch region received maximum rainfall of 73.61 per cent, followed by Saurashtra (70.74), North (55.57), South (50.01) and East-Central (43.20 per cent). "More than two lakh food packets have been sent to Banaskantha from other districts", Gujarat Principal Secretary Pankaj Kumar said.

He further praised the courage of the people of Gujarat, "The people of Gujarat are blessed with a strong spirit of resilience". Personnel from the Army and the BSF have been also been deployed. It also warned of extremely heavy rain at some places in Banskantha, Sabarkantha, Patan and Mehsana districts tomorrow. In Rajkot, state officials met Rupani and shared with him information about the ongoing rescue operations and their preparedness to tackle the situation.

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