Some cheer, others flee as rains inundate Gujarat

September 19th, 2008 - 4:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, Sep 19 (IANS) A number of overjoyed people Friday rushed to see the unusual sight of Aji dam in Gujarat’s Rajkot town overflowing after heavy rains, while thousands had to be evacuated from Surendranagar district where villages have been marooned.”Aji’s overflow is special to us since we get our drinking water from there. This is the seventh overflow since the dam was built 49 years ago,” said Rajkot resident Prish Joshi.

The overflow, which began at about 3 a.m. Friday, was the result of heavy rain in the upper reaches of the 29 foot high dam.

On Thursday, over 4,500 people were evacuated from Lakhtar sub-district of Surendranagar district, where many low-lying areas were flooded after heavy rainfall.

“Nearly 4,500 people have been evacuated using rescue boats and army helicopters,” Surendranagar district collector J.D. Bhatt said Friday.

“There has been no rain in the past 24 hours (till Friday morningand the water is fast receding. The task of distributing food packets to the needy is on. There is no need for panic,” he added.

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