Updated: July 22, 2021 7:31:04 pm
TORRENTIAL rain since last night has wreaked havoc in Ratnagiri district, with Chiplun city being the worst affected. Hundreds of Chiplun residents were stranded in their homes after Vashisti river, the lifeline of the city, overflowed.
“The flood situation is grim but under control,” Ratnagiri District Collector B N Patil told The Indian Express.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Coast Guard teams reached Chiplun on Thursday afternoon and rescue operations have begun, said Patil. “Helicopters have begun their sorties. So far, 100 stranded citizens have been moved to safer places and the rescue operation is continuing. We are providing food packets and shelter to the rescued citizens,” he said, adding that 10 teams of the Navy will also arrive in Chiplun by Friday morning.
Chiplun has a population of 20,000-25,000. “However, as the water in the river started rising, many people… left the city, like they do during such situations in monsoon. It is true that several residents are still stranded in their homes but we do not know the exact number of those awaiting rescue,” Patil said.
Officials said in the past 24 hours, Chiplun registered 200 mm rain, the highest in Ratnagiri district. Many market places, residential and commercial complexes are under water. Electricity and communication lines have been snapped, bridges in and around Chiplun are under water and it was difficult to establish contact with local residents, said officials.
The State Transport bus stand has been completely submerged, with all parked buses under water. “An electricity sub-station in Chiplun has also been submerged, which has hit the power supply in the city. Cellphones of residents are not working and hence it is difficult to know who is stuck where,” said officials.
Patil said the the maximum water level in the city is up to seven feet. “Residential and commercial buildings up to first floor have been submerged. At most places, the water is up to five feet but at a few places it is up to seven feet,” he said.
NDRF officials, meanwhile, said they have rushed four teams to Chiplun. “It is difficult to reach Chiplun because of flooded roads. We will send two more teams by helicopter. Each team has five boats. Residents should contact the helpline number of the collectorate, which will help us understand in which area and buildings the citizens have been stuck,” said NDRF officials.
Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut told The Indian Express, “As per my information, at least 5,000 residents need to be shifted to safer places as water as entered their homes. Vashishti river continues to be in spate…”.
The MP said the central government should rush helicopters to rescue people as the city has become inaccessible by road for rescue operations.
Raut also said that local police officials have told him that at least three people from one village were reported missing after a landslide. “One woman has been found dead,” he said.
Sena leader Bhaskar Jadhav said, “Chiplun is like a saucer surrounded by mountains on all sides. In 2005, Chiplun had seen worse floods. But residents I spoke to are saying the situation now is worse than 2005.”
Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said the state machinery was on alert and efforts were underway to help the stranded residents. “I have also spoken to Koyana dam officials who have stopped discharge of water after generation of electricity, which should help ease the situation in Chiplun,” he said.
Train services have also been badly hit, with all long-distance trains stranded en route, said officials.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.