Maharashtra rains: Death toll rises to 76, over 59 missing

The death toll in Maharashtra owing to rain-related incidents went up to 76 on Friday morning while 59 remained missing, a statement by the state government informed. It added that the districts of Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Mumbai suburbs, Pune and Thane were the worst-hit by the incessant downpour that has been continuing since Thursday.

The numbers, however, are a contrast to those given by Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Vadettiwar who claimed that 138 people have died and 38 are missing.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s office informed that he is likely to take off from Mumbai after 1 pm to travel to the flood-affected areas of Raigad district. The CM has requisitioned a helicopter from the Indian Air Force to take stock of the situation there.

The statement issued by principal secretary Aseemkumar Gupta informed that around 90,000 people have been evacuated to date and six more relief camps have been made operational in Ratnagiri.

NDRF personnel being air-lifted to Chiplun on Friday for relief operations. (Express Photo)

A total of 21 teams of National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in Thane, Palghar, Kolhapur, Ratnagiri and Sangli and more are being airlifted from Bhubaneshwar.

Apart from the Navy, Coast Guard and Indian Air Force, more men from the Army are also reaching the flood-hit areas to help out in relief operations.

The statement further informed that the towns of Chiplun and Khed in Ratnagiri remained completely inundated due to discharge of water from the Koyna and Koltewadi dams that led to a rise in the water level of the Vashisti river. Phone connectivity is completely down and some areas are even without electricity.

Thousands were seen stranded on the roofs and upper floors of the houses as water levels rose to over 15-20 feet in many places. The rains also led to landslides in the Khed taluka. NDRF teams have been working round the clock to save people trapped under the debris.

A partially-submerged temple in Karad on Friday. (PTI)

Currently water in most places has receded and cleaning work is in progress.

Rs 2 crore has been provided to the district for response and relief work through the State Disaster Response for Ratnagiri Fund.

Things are not too different for Raigad district which is located close to Mumbai. The incessant rain led to overflowing of the Savitri river, causing floods in the Mahad and Poladpur regions. Rescue teams had to be airlifted to these areas as road connectivity was completely cut off because of waterlogging.

The heavy rainfall also caused landslides at three locations in the two talukas —Tayle village, Mahad taluka, Sakharsutarwaadi and Kevnale villages in Poladpur taluka of Raigad district. The superintendent of police in Raigad told The Indian Express that the district alone accounted for 43 deaths.

Raigad, too, has been provided Rs 2 crore to carry out relief operations.

Taliye village after the landslide on Friday. (Express Photo)

Mahabaleshwar has recorded 1,100 mm of rainfall in the last 48 hours. The heavy downpour has also led to multiple landslides in Satara district of Western Maharashtra. Villages in Patan, Mirgaon, Ambegha, Humbarli, Dhokavle, Wai, Kondavli and Mojezor talukas have been the worst-hit.

In Kolhapur and Sangli districts, the Panchgana river has been flowing above the danger mark, inundating many nearby areas.

Meanwhile, services of the Konkan Railway went back to normal after restoration work of the track at Chiplun was completed at 3.45 am on Saturday. The ballast under the track at Chiplun in Ratnagiri district was washed away by floods caused by the incessant rain.