Floods in Gujarat, rainfall records broken in Odisha as September brings heavy monsoon precipitation

Under the twin effect of a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal and another low pressure area over south Gujarat region, states in both east and west coast of India get battered by extremely heavy rainfall leading to flash floods in parts of Gujarat and Odisha. Floods are proving to be the first administrative challenge for Bhupandra Patel who was sworn in as Gujarat’s chief minister today.

Gaon Connection
| Updated: September 13th, 2021

Teams dispatched by NDRF conducted rescue and relief operations in the Jamnagar and Rajkot districts where people living in low-lying areas were stuck due to heavy flooding.

Bhupendra Patel was sworn in as the 17th Chief Minister of Gujarat today. The 59-year-old BJP leader’s swearing in ceremony witnessed the presence of senior party cadre including Union Home Minister Amit Shah along with state chief ministers including Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Manohar Lal Khatttar (Haryana), Pramod Sawant (Goa) and Basavaraj Bommai (Karnataka). 

Patel replaces Vijay Rupani who resigned as Gujarat’s chief minister two days back, on September 11, while citing no specific reason for his resignation.

While the swearing in ceremony of the new chief minister Patel was being conducted, Saurashtra region in the western state, was reeling under flash floods. Its two districts — Jamnagar and Rajkot — are the worst affected due to the floods with rescue operations underway during the day. As per news reports, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rescued 31 people from Kalavad in Jamnagar, and even an IAF (Indian Air Force) chopper was used to rescue stranded people. Six NDRF teams were rushed to Jamnagar to carry out rescue operations. 

Bhupendra Patel

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A deep depression in the Bay of Bengal and another low pressure area over south Gujarat region are responsible for the extremely heavy spell of rainfall. In its press release issued at 2 pm today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said: “Enhanced rainfall activity of heavy to very heavy rainfall spell likely to continue over Gujarat State till 16th September and over Madhya Pradesh on 14th and 15th September.” The met department has also issued a ‘red’ warning for Gujarat and coastal Maharashtra for today, September 13. 

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Floods in Gujarat

The flood situation in Gujarat is proving to be the first administrative challenge for the newly appointed chief minister as multiple localities in Rajkot and Jamnagar are at present submerged.

Reportedly, soon after CM Patel assumed charge of his office, he held a high-level meeting with the officials to discuss, assess and respond to the floods in the state.

Teams dispatched by NDRF conducted rescue and relief operations in the Jamnagar and Rajkot districts where people living in low-lying areas were stuck due to heavy flooding. Many are still believed to be stuck. Also, schools have been shut for a day in Rajkot due to the flood situation in the district.

The IMD’s rainfall data shows how all the districts in Gujarat have received excess or large excess rainfall between 8:30 am on September 12 and 8:30 am on September 13. For instance, in these 24 hours, Rajkot received 2,066 per cent above its normal rainfall — against a normal of 3.3 millimetre (mm), the district received 71.5 mm rainfall in 24 hours.

Similarly, Jamnagar district has received 1,765 per cent above its normal rainfall. Devbhoomi Dwarka district also received 1203 per cent above its normal rainfall. Predictably, the flash floods and resultant destruction in the region.

Heavy rains in Odisha too

Meanwhile, on the eastern coast of India, Odisha, where the state government has already declared a drought, is also reeling under massive floods as several meteorological stations have broken their earlier rainfall records.

Also Read: Large-scale deficient monsoon rainfall across Odisha triggers fear of drought

According to the IMD, yesterday’s Well Marked Low Pressure Area concentrated first into a Depression and then into a Deep Depression and now lies over north coastal Odisha. It is very likely to continue to move west-northwestwards across north Odisha, north Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh during next 48 hours. It is very likely to weaken into a Depression during the next 24 hours. 

This deep depression has caused heavy rainfall in the state. In the last 24 hours, Puri received 341 mm rainfall, followed by Paradip (219 mm), Gopalpur (64 mm), Chandbali (46 mm), Balasore (24 mm), the weather office said. 

The all-time precipitation record for a day in Puri in September was 210 mm on 09/9/1958 (63 years ago). This record has been broken as Puri has recorded 344 mm rainfall till 8:30 am on September 13. 

Also Read: IPCC’s new report warns of increased precipitation and intense heatwaves in India; severe rise in rainfall over south India

Similarly, in the capital city Bhubaneswar, a similar all time record was 163mm rainfall in 24 hours in September month, which was recorded 87 years ago (20/09/1934). This record too stands broken as Bhubaneswar received about 200 mm daily rainfall till today morning.

The Central Water Commission (CWC) has issued an alert for several districts as major rivers are in spate due to incessant rains.

“Brahmani river and its tributaries’ water levels are expected to rise in districts such as Angul, Deogarh, Sundargarh, Kendrapara, Dhenkanal and Jajpur. Water levels of river Baitarani are expected to rise in districts Keonjhar and Bhadrak,” the CWC said.

Also, the water levels of Mahanadi and its tributaries are likely to rise in Cuttack, Khordha, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Jharsuguda and Bolangir, it added.