Mumbai: At least 75 people have died in landslides triggered by torrential rains in the Western and Konkan districts of Maharashtra since Thursday night. Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, NDRF and Maharashtra government departments are conducting the search, rescue and relief efforts. In the Raigad area, over 53 individuals were remained missing.
The Mumbai-Goa national highway has been blocked owing to floods that have destroyed the 78-year-old bridge across the Vashishti river, according to a senior government official. At 4.30 pm, the Mumbai-Bangalore National Highway was also closed due to the overflowing Panchganga river near Kolhapur city. The level of water in Panchganga has been rising and as a result, all sorts of vehicles have been prohibited from using the route.
‘The bridge at Chiplun would be repaired by Saturday noon. Till then all the vehicles have been stopped on this road. Unless the water level in Panchganga recedes, the traffic movement would not be allowed on Mumbai-Banglore Highway,’ the official said.
Several flood-related videos have gone popular. A crocodile was spotted floating in the Chiplun floods in one of the videos. Another scary video from Chiplun shows a group of people using a rope to carry a woman out of a flooded location. As she is being dragged up, the lady clings to the rope, but just as she approaches the building’s terrace, the rescuers lose their grasp, and she falls into the water.
According to a senior DMU officer, landslides have been reported in two places in the Raigad district: Poladpur taluka and Mahad taluka. 43 people died in Raigad, while Satara district reported 8 deaths and 24 people believed to be trapped beneath the rubble.
The Ratnagiri District Information Officer said the flood had claimed the lives of 24 individuals. ‘Of these, eight were Covid patients at a hospital in Chiplun. Flood water entered the first floor of the hospital leading to disruption in the power supply. As a result, ventilators and oxygen units did not work leading to the deaths of eight patients,’ the officer said.
18 NDRF teams have been dispatched around the state, according to DMU. In the Ratnagiri district, four NDRF teams, two Coast Guard teams, two Indian Navy teams and two Army teams have been deployed. In the Raigad district, two NDRF teams and two SDRF teams have been deployed. In the Sangali district, two Army columns have been deployed. Each column consists of 50 Army troops as well as search and rescue equipment.
‘Looking at the current situation, the state has demanded additional eight NDRF teams from Bhuneshwar in Odisha,’ the senior official said.
Uddhav Thackeray, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, has promised financial help to the families of those who have died. Thackeray also met with top IAS and IPS personnel at the disaster management unit’s control room in Mantralaya. Following the flood review meeting at Mantralaya, the Chief Minister informed reporters that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had phoned him and promised him that Maharashtra will receive all possible help.