Six die in heavy rains in Ahmedabad

Sunday, August 8, 2010

AHMEDABAD - Six people died as a building collapsed, water entered over 300 housing societies and flights and trains were cancelled due to torrential rains that lashed and crippled Ahmedabad Sunday.

Reports of continuing heavy rain poured in from central and south Gujarat with the India Metereological Department (IMD) predicting a heavy downpour over the next 24 hours till Monday evening.

According to official sources, four people died in a building collapse in Dudeshwar area early Sunday.

A youth drowned in an underpass near Akhbarnagar and another drowned near Nirnaynagar. Both the bodies were fished out by the fire brigade after hours of search, official sources said.

More than 300 housing societies across the city were waterlogged, 60 of them in Bopal area alone.

Air and rail traffic was also hit. Three flights were cancelled and many delayed and atleast 10 trains were cancelled.

The runway at the Ahmedabad airport came under a sea of water early Sunday, leading to the cancellation of two domestic and an international flight to Dubai.

The flight to Dubai was supposed to carry over 200 passengers, officials said.

Reports of cancellation of atleast 10 trains have come in while others were running two to six hours late due to submerged tracks.

Traffic on the Ahmedabad-Mehsana highway was also hit with a large number of trucks waiting at the entry point into the city.

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation Deputy Commissioner M.S. Patel said that the situation was improving with five gates of the Vaasna barrage being opened to allow 15,000 cusecs water from the city to flow out.

“Fifty-five high powered pumps have been deployed to drain out water from various areas of the city,” he added.

Kamaljit Ray, director of IMD in Gujarat, said: “Ahmedabad district has already received about 50 percent more rainfall than the season’s average.”

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