Maharashtra rains claim over 129 lives, Army, IAF and coast guard pressed into service as IMD issues red alert for various districts


New Delhi: Incessant rains have thrown normal life out of gear in Maharashtra, claiming the lives of at least 129 people. Several reports of deaths in rain-related incidents, including multiple landslides, have been reported in Maharashtra over the last two days, while over 84,452 people under the Pune division were shifted to safer places on Friday as heavy showers continued to wreak havoc in the state, according to the officials. 

“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. A flood-like situation has prevailed in parts of Maharashtra’s Kolhapur, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Palghar, Thane, and Nagpur.

Besides landslides, many people have been swept away in floodwaters. The death toll in Western Maharashtra’s Satara district reached 27, the officials revealed. Additionally, the death toll also includes 38 people who perished in a landslide in a village in the coastal Raigad district’s Mahad tehsil on Thursday. 

Landslides also hit Ambeghar and Mirgaon villages in Satara’s Patan Tehsil, burying a total of eight houses, on Thursday night, said Ajay Kumar Bansal, Superintendent of Police, Satara rural.

Over eleven people, including eight Nepalese workers, were rescued in the nick of time before the bus in which they were traveling was swept away in a flooded river in Western Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district on early Friday morning, police said. 

Army deploys 15 teams for flood relief: 

According to a defence release, a total of 15 relief and rescue teams comprising troops from the Aundh Military Station and Bombay Engineer Group based at Pune have been deployed in affected areas. The Indian Army has launched ‘Operation Varsha 21′ for flood relief and rescue work in the state, it said. 

“With the unprecedented rains and resultant heavy flow of water in various rivers, a number of areas in many states are likely to be impacted by floods. Presently the districts of Ratnagiri, Raigad, Pune, Satara, Kolhapur and Sangli in Maharashtra have been affected,” it said. 

“These columns will be assisting the civil administration in the rescue of local population stranded in submerged areas till normalcy is restored,” it said. 

Lt Gen J S Nain, GOC-In-C Southern Command, stated that the “Indian Army stands with people in these testing times and all assistance will be provided by the Army in the affected areas”. 

ICG deploys seven relief teams to Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka:

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Friday deployed seven disaster relief teams (DRTs) at the coastal districts of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka to rescue people that are in distress due to incessant rains, an official statement.

Three DRTs deployed in coastal districts of Karnataka have rescued and relocated 161 distressed people to safe locations, the ICG’s statement noted.

“ICG units located in Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka are extending all assistance and support to the District Administration concerned in mitigating the effect of incessant rains,” it mentioned.

IMD issues red alert: 

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday also issued a red alert for six districts in Maharashtra indicating forecasting “extremely heavy” rainfall and recommending preventive actions.

“The alert was issued for the next 24 hours for the districts of Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Sindhudurg in coastal Konkan and also for Pune, Satara, and Kolhapur in Western Maharashtra. Extremely heavy rainfall is “very likely” at isolated places in ghat (hilly/upland) areas,” an IMD official said. 

Rainfall in other states: 

Meanwhile, other states have also been witnessing heavy rainfall. Torrential rains, caused by a depression in the Bay of Bengal, have inundated half of Karnataka, causing floods in at least eight districts and affecting public life in another 12 by disrupting transport services, including road and rail traffic.

IMD also revealed that “fairly widespread to widespread rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy falls very likely to continue over west coast during next 2-3 days with reduction thereafter.” 

“Isolated extremely heavy falls also very likely over Konkan, Goa, the adjoining ghat areas of central Maharashtra during July 23-24 with reduction thereafter and over coastal and south interior Karnataka, (from) today July 23,” IMD said.

(With agency inputs)

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