As heavy rains have caused flooding in parts of the coastal region and hit road and rail traffic over the last two days, a landslide has claimed at least 36 lives near a village in the coastal Raigad district of Maharashtra. The death toll from three separate landslides that occurred on Thursday in Mahad tehsil is likely to rise, police said. A total of 32 bodies were found in Talai, and four others were found in Sakhar sutarwadi village. At least 15 people have been rescued so far, but officials believe 30 to 35 more are trapped under the debris. Amit Shah met with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and assured him of the Centre’s complete cooperation and assistance.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: ‘Anguished by the loss of lives due to a landslide in Raigad, Maharashtra. My condolences to the bereaved families. I wish the injured a speedy recovery. The situation in Maharashtra due to heavy rains is being closely monitored and assistance is being provided to the affected’.
Anguished by the loss of lives due to a landslide in Raigad, Maharashtra. My condolences to the bereaved families. I wish the injured a speedy recovery.
The situation in Maharashtra due to heavy rains is being closely monitored and assistance is being provided to the affected.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 23, 2021
My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.
I appeal to Congress workers to assist in relief and rescue work.
Rains continue to cause disaster and disruptions in many parts of Maharashtra. Please stay safe. pic.twitter.com/0su6PjwkiM
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 23, 2021
Rahul Gandhi, also tweeted: ‘My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. I appeal to Congress workers to assist in relief and rescue work. Rains continue to cause disaster and disruptions in many parts of Maharashtra. Please stay safe’. An NDRF team has reached Mahad, around 160 km from Mumbai, and another is on its way. Uddhav Thackeray, the chief minister of Maharashtra, took stock of the situation.
11 rescued from bus
On Friday morning, 11 people on board a bus narrowly avoided drowning as they were rescued just before the bus washed into a river in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. The incident took place around 2.30 am at Pangire village in Bhudargad tehsil when the bus driver drove over a bridge despite being told not to do so by the police and the PWD personnel.
‘The PWD officials intercepted the Nashik-bound bus before the bridge. In spite of their warnings, the driver went ahead and crossed the bridge. But the police staff ran towards the bus and evacuated all the 11 people on board,’ an official from Bhudargad police station said. Due to the strong current, the bus fell off the bridge and got stuck in water before being swept away by the strong currents, he said. Nearly 6,000 passengers were left stranded on the Konkan Railway route in Ratnagiri district after a river overflowed following heavy rains a day earlier.
The IAF’s rescue operations
On July 22, the IAF received a message of the need to carry out flood relief operations in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra in the cities of Chiplun and Khed. A Mi-17 IV helicopter took off from Mumbai at 3:40 pm and landed at Ratnagiri at 5 pm when the weather permitted. However, bad weather prevented further operations in the evening. The helicopter was deployed at Ratnagiri along with another, which was flown in from Mumbai, as operations resumed today. An NDRF team of 10 personnel and a one-ton load has also been flown in by the IAF to Ratnagiri.
An aircraft from Ratnagiri took off at 11:35 am on Friday, conducted reconnaissance, and rescued two people before returning to Ratnagiri. The IAF is also preparing two Mi-17V5s and two Mi-17s for flood relief operations. Pune has another helicopter available in case of an emergency.