Maharashtra rain fury: 36 people die after landslide in coastal Raigad district

129 dead in rain-related incidents, including landslides, in the state in 48 hours

Maharashtra rain fury: 36 people die after landslide in coastal Raigad district

A view of flood-hit areas in Maharashtra’s Raigarh district on July 23, 2021. — PTI

Mumbai, July 23

As many as 129 people have died in rain-related incidents, including landslides, in Maharashtra in the last 48 hours, a senior official from the state disaster management department said on Friday evening.

This included 38 deaths in a landslide in a village in the coastal Raigad district's Mahad tehsil on Thursday, he told PTI.

"The death toll in Maharashtra in the last 48 hours has reached 129. Most of the deaths are from Raigad and Satara districts," the official said.

Besides landslides, several people were swept away in floodwaters.

The official put the death toll in various incidents in Western Maharashtra's Satara district at 27.

Other fatalities included those reported from eastern districts such as Gondia and Chandrapur, he said.

The landslide in Raigad district took place near Talai village in Mahad tehsil on Thursday evening. "Thirty-six bodies have been recovered from the spot so far," a senior police official had said earlier in the day, adding that NDRF teams and local officials were engaged in rescue work.

Raigad District Collector Nidhi Choudhary said the landslide incident was reported late on Thursday evening. "But since the roads leading to the spot were blocked due to floods and sludge, the rescue teams found it difficult to reach the site," she said. 

"The operation resumed today morning and the bodies were recovered by afternoon," she added.

According to officials, there are around 30 houses in the village, which were completely damaged due to the incident. 

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is reviewing the situation, an official said.

10 feared trapped in landslide in Ratnagiri district    

At least 10 persons are feared trapped in a landslide in Maharashtra's Ratnagiri district, a senior official said on Friday.

Parts of Ratnagiri district have been reeling under floods caused due to heavy rains over the last few days, with major rivers in the district flowing above the danger mark.

“At least 10 people are feared trapped under the debris after a landslide in the district. The rescue team has reached the spot. The local residents, who rushed to safety, alerted the police about it,” the official said.

However, details about the incident, including its exact location and time, are yet to be known.

The official said that establishing contact has become difficult due to the poor mobile network and it is posing hurdles in reaching out to the affected people and responding to their SOS calls.

Meanwhile, four people were reported killed as torrential rain pounded Maharashtra on Thursday for the second time in five days, hitting the coastal Konkan and western parts severely, officials said.

Though Mumbai was largely spared, heavy rain lashed coastal districts of Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg and the western districts of Satara and Kolhapur.

Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Parbhani and Solapur also saw torrential rain, with the state deploying the NDRF, the SDRF, and Indian Coast Guard boats and helicopters, while Indian Navy teams were kept on standby.

Several towns and cities like Bhiwandi, Badlapur, Ulhasnagar, Kalyan, Dombivali, Chiplun, Khed, Sawantwadi, Mangaon, Mandangad, Kudal, Mahad and others were inundated in three to six feet water.

Flood waters rushed into shops, offices, homes and ground-floor flats, while around half a dozen homes were damaged or collapsed, many big and small vehicles were fully submerged or washed away, and people remained trapped in their homes for hours.

The latest disaster came as the state was barely recovering from the Sunday floods which claimed more than 33 lives in Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region areas.

Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said two NDRF teams had been rushed to rescue people stuck in flood waters in Chiplun to safer locations, as Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray directed officials to prevent any loss of lives.

While one person was reported to be killed in Raigad, three others lost their lives in Palghar in rain-related incidents, details of which were awaited.

Moving swiftly, the NDRF and SDRF teams, along with local agencies, shifted over 5,000 marooned people in towns of Chiplun, Mandangad, and Khed, besides many other villages to safer areas.

Several big and small rivers, dams, lakes, ponds and other water bodies in these districts were above the danger levels or overflowing, and the situation worsened with dams discharging excess waters, inundating roads, railway lines bridges, agricultural farms and fields.

Officials said that Ratnagiri bore the brunt of the rain in the past 24 hours with many towns and villages getting waterlogged from 3 am onwards, with the high tide in the Arabian Sea pushing back the flood waters in the coastal areas.

At least 27 villages in Ratnagiri's Mangaon were cut off with all-approach state and local roads, bridges flooded as local rivers inundated the region, and the local authorities were trying to send rescue teams.

In Thane's Kalyan town, flood waters of the rain and the local Thane Creek inundated large parts, and around 1,200 buffalos trapped in a dairy farm were rescued safely by the stable owners.

Senior Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab and Wadditwar said that the priority was to rescue people marooned or living in the low-lying regions to safety as scenes similar to the raging floods of 2005, 2007 and 2019 were witnessed again.

Traffic was at a standstill for several hours on the Mumbai-Goa highway, and disrupted on the Mumbai-Nashik highway, the Western Ghats, and other state highways and interior roads, stranding thousands of vehicles.

Wadettiwar said Coast Guard helicopters and speedboats had been dispatched to some of the worst-hit areas and arrangements been made to provide food packets and medicines to the affected people as the situation was very grim.

Long-distance trains on the Central Railway network were disrupted in Thane, Nashik, Pune, Kolhapur and other sections with trains stranded on flooded railway tracks at various locations.

CR Spokesperson Shivaji Sutar said stranded passengers were taken to state buses to safer locations and food provided to them.

Several parts have recorded unprecedented rain in the past 24 hours, with Mahabaleshwar hill station in Satara notching 480 mm, the highest in 45 years, and Matheran recording 330 mm rain, while many other areas saw rain in excess of 200 mm, creating panic.

In view of the situation, Shiv Sena MP from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg constituency Vinayak Parab, currently in New Delhi for the Parliament session, is rushing to Konkan, while other senior party leaders from Mumbai and other parts have reached there.

BJP's Leader of Opposition in Council, Pravin Darekar, attacked the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi for failing to anticipate the magnitude of the monsoon disaster in the Konkan region and said NDRF teams should be permanently stationed there during the rainy season. IANS/PTI

Shah speaks to Thackeray

Home Minister Amit Shah has spoken to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on the situation arising due to heavy rains and landslides in Raigad district of Maharashtra.

Shah said the Centre is extending all possible help to the Maharashtra government to deal with the emerging situation in the state.

"The accident that occurred due to heavy rains and landslides in Raigad, Maharashtra, is unfortunate. In this regard, I have spoken to Chief Minister Shri Uddhav Thackeray and DG @NDRFHQ. NDRF teams are engaged in relief and rescue operations. The central government is providing all possible help there to save the lives of people," he tweeted in Hindi. TNS



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