Thursday, 18 August, 2022

Gujarat rains: 7 killed in India state amid heavy downpour

At least seven people have died as heavy rains continue to lash the western Indian state of Gujarat.

The weather department has said that the "intense wet spell" is expected to continue over the next few days.

A state minister said around 9,000 people have been relocated to safe areas.

Photos showed waterlogged streets and overflowing dams and rivers across the state. Transport services have been disrupted in several areas.

Many parts of the state have received unusually high rainfall since Sunday. Some of these areas had recorded a deficit in monsoon rainfall until this month, according to Down To Earth, which reports on environmental issues.

Heavy monsoons rains have triggered havoc in Gujarat several times - in 2017, more than 200 people died in floods triggered by unrelenting rain.

According to a government report, many parts of Gujarat are vulnerable to floods because major rivers "pass through a wide stretch of the very flat terrain before reaching the sea".

"These flat lowlands of lower river basins are prone to flooding," it adds.

Rajendra Trivedi, Gujarat's disaster management minister, said that 63 people have died since 1 June due to "rain-related incidents" such as drowning and walls collapsing.

India's home minister Amit Shah has said that teams of the state and national disaster response forces have been deployed at various places in Gujarat.