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Monday, September 20, 2021

112 dead, 99 missing: Many areas cut off, but water receding as rainfall abates

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray visited Taliye village in Mahad, where a landslide had buried homes. Forty-two bodies have been recovered from the site and 39 people are still missing.

Written by Yogesh Naik | Mumbai |
Updated: July 25, 2021 7:26:07 am
Rescue operations in Kohlapur district on Saturday. (PTI)

The toll in Maharashtra flood climbed to 112 on Saturday, with the number likely to increase as rescue teams are finding more bodies, particularly from the landslide site at Mahad taluka in Raigad district.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray visited Taliye village in Mahad, where a landslide had buried homes. Forty-two bodies have been recovered from the site and 39 people are still missing.

The main districts affected by rain are Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Mumbai suburbs, Pune and Thane.

Thackeray, who flew to Mahad in an IAF helicopter, told mediapersons: “The incident is big. Government will carry out rehabilitation measures. We will help everyone.’’ He will visit Chiplun in Ratnagiri on Sunday.

A sum of Rs 2 crore each for Ratnagiri and Raigad districts has been released from the State Disaster Response Fund. A fund of Rs 50 lakh has been allocated for all other affected districts for immediate response.

A statement issued by the state government’s relief and rehabilitation department said apart from 112 people dying, 99 are missing and 53 have sustained injuries. Rescue teams have evacuated 1.5 lakh people so far. Six relief camps have been opened in Ratnagiri.

In all, 21 teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in Thane, Palghar, Kolhapur, Ratnagiri and Sangli and more are being airlifted from Bhubaneshwar, it added.

NDRF personnel fly to Maharashtra for rescue and relief work. (Express Photo)

The statement further said that apart from Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force, more Army personnel are reaching the flood-hit areas. The defence forces are using their own boats – separate from the 59 boats that NDRF and the state disaster response force have deployed.

The government said that Chiplun and Khed towns in Ratnagiri were completely inundated due to discharge from the Koyna dam and subsequently the Koltewadi dam, leading to a rise in the level of Vashisti river. The cellphone network has broken down and many areas are still without electricity.

Thousands of people who were stranded on the roof tops and upper floors of houses, as the water level rose to over 15 to 20 feet in many places, are returning. The water level is receding in most places, the statement added.

In Raigad district, which neighbours Mumbai, heavy rain has caused Savitri river to burst its banks, leading to flooding in Mahad and Poladpur.

Mahad was completely cut off and not accessible by road. Many people were stranded on roof tops and upper floors of houses. Other than the landslide at Taliye village in Mahad, there was a landslide in Kevnale and Sakharsutarwaadi villages in Poladpur taluka.

Padmashree Bainade, resident deputy collector of Raigad, said 44 people had died in the landslide at Taliye while 11 died due to the landslide at Poladpur.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray visits Raigad, one of the worst-affected areas by the floods. (Express Photo)

Two each Navy and SDRF teams as well as one NDRF team are involved in rescue operations along with 11 local teams. With no potable water in Mahad, 20 tankers of drinking water have been sent to the area, she added.

The torrential rainfall in Satara district – Mahabaleshwar received more than 1,100 mm of rainfall in less than 48 hours – resulted in heavy discharge from Koyna dam.

In Satara district of western Maharashtra, 379 villages were affected due to flood. While 18 people had died, 24 were missing. The district collectorate reported that 3,024 herds of cattle were missing.

There were a total of five landslides in Satara. District Collector Shekhar Singh said, “Rain has receded on Saturday. There have been three major landslides and many small ones. We are still trying to reach many locations. Some roads leading to Mahabaleshwar hill station are blocked.’’

In Kolhapur and Sangli, the Panchgana river, which has breached its danger mark, has caused innundation in many areas. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has sent two suction machines to Kolhapur on the request of district authorities, said BMC disaster management chief Mahesh Narvekar. Meanwhile, a team of disaster relief has been sent from Thane.

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