Updated: August 5, 2019 6:14:05 am
More than 1,800 families in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad were shifted to safety as rainfall inundated the two cities on Sunday. Pune received 45.9 mm of rainfall between Saturday morning and Sunday evening and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast continued downpour in the region over the next four days. The situation has led the Fifth Battalion of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to deploy a total of eight teams in Raigad, Thane, Mumbai, Pune and Nashik. A 10-year-old boy was killed in Lonavala after the wall of a neighbouring house collapsed on him.
In Pune, the district administration has announced a holiday for schools and colleges on Monday, while NDRF teams are working on relief and rescue operations in flood-affected areas.
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The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) shifted at least 625 families from around Mula-Mutha river and other low-lying areas. In Pimpri-Chinchwad, municipal authorities evacuated 1,200 families from flood-affected areas, mostly slums located near river banks and nullahs.
District Collector Naval Kishore Ram urged residents to remain indoors Monday.
“At least 1 lakh cusecs of water has been released from several dams in the region, which have been filled to capacity by the rain, causing flooding in low-lying areas of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. We have announced that schools and colleges across the district will remain closed on Monday. I also urge residents to stay indoors,” said Ram.
PMC officials said they shifted families from Ararsh Nagar, Bopodi, Shanti Nagar, Yerwada, Kamgrat Putla, Patil Estate Slums and Khilare Wasti after they were flooded with water. “Local ward offices have been asked to look after these families, who are staying in public places, such as schools and cultural centres. NDRF teams have been asked to stay on alert and a few teams are housed at PMC headquarters, from where they will be dispatched as the need arises,” said PMC spokesperson Sanjay More.
The worst affected areas in Pimpri-Chinchwad were Sangvi, Wakad, Pimpri and Rahatni. In a successful operation, at least 50 patients, some of them in critical condition, were rescued from Surya Hospital in Wakad after it was inundated by water from the Mula river.
Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar said as many as 5,000 people (1,000-1,200 families) had been moved to safety since morning. “Of these, 3,000 people were shifted to 10 relief camps while others travelled to relatives’ or friends’ places,” said Hardikar. In Sangvi, at least 15 people who were trapped in their houses were rescued by boats while 7-8 people were rescued from Kaspate Vasti, he added.
An NDRF officer said two teams have been deployed in Hinjewadi and Kamshet. The Hinjewadi team was on alert for possible flooding in low-lying areas in Mulshi, the officer said, while the other was deployed in Kamshet due to the large number of waterfalls and waterbodies in and around Lonavala and Khandala, and due to the tourist influx on Sunday.
The Hinjewadi team conducted the rescue operation at Surya Hospital in Wakad. The second team rescued at least 20 cattle after flooding occurred in a village near Kamshet. Later in the day, two more teams were placed on stand-by at NDRF headquarters at Sudumbare near Talegaon.
In Lonavala, 10-year-old boy Kunal Dodke was killed and his nine-year-old sister Nandini was injured after the wall of of their neighbour’s house collapsed on them in Hanuman Tekdi.
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