Flood fury hits Rajasthan, Gujarat; as army jumps into action

Ahmedabad/Jaipur: Flood waters swept across several places in the country on July 24 , killing two in Rajasthan and forcing Gujarat to declare a high alert.
In an upside, the situation in flood-ravaged Assam improved considerably as the swollen Brahmaputra and Barak rivers, along with their tributaries, started flowing below the danger mark at most places.
In West Bengal, lowlands in Birbhum, Purulia, West Medinipore and Hooghly districts were inundated.
With the meteorological department predicting more rains in the Gangetic region of the state in the next 24 hours, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a monitoring meeting with senior officials at the secretariat this afternoon.
Rains lashed state capital Kolkata through the night, inundating thoroughfares and choking traffic.
In the neighboring coastal state of Odisha, extremely heavy rains and thundershowers, along with high-speed surface winds, are expected on July 25 due to the formation of a low pressure area over the region.
The Odisha government has dispatched one Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) team each to the northern Keonjhar and Bhadrak districts, as the threat of floods loomed large due to the rising water level in major rivers.
The levels of the Baitarani, Subarnarekha and Budhabalang rivers have been rising steadily following heavy rainfall in most parts of the state over the last couple of days.
The state government has already sounded an alert about possible floods in six districts after the IMD forecast extremely heavy rainfall in the northern region of the state.
The districts are Keonjhar, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh.
In Gujarat, 1,526 people in Banaskantha district, about 500 in Patan district, and over 200 at Kalol in Gandhinagar district have been shifted after floods to safer places.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said the large inflow of water into rivers and dams in Banaskantha and Patan were caused by heavy rains in neighboring Rajasthan.
Video footages showed even large vehicles like trucks stuck in flood water which entered several homes in the two districts.
Army and Air Force contingents have been rushed in to assist in relief and rescue operations. Four MI-17V5 helicopters were conducting sorties from bases in Jamnagar, Jodhpur and Phalodi. The road and rail network has also been affected in the region.
Incessant rain has thrown normal life out of gear in several areas in the three districts of otherwise parched Rajasthan, hitting road and rail transport. Two trains were terminated in Jodhpur Railway Division following water logging on Bhiladi-Samdari section.
Uttar Pradesh too experienced rainfall over several places. Temple town Varanasi recorded nearly 100mm of rain.
Rainfall was also received in the national capital as well as the hills of Himachal Pradesh.

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