Scores have died in rain-related incidents, including multiple landslides, in Maharashtra over the last two days, while around 90,000 people under the Pune division had to be evacuated in past three days as heavy showers continued to wreak havoc in the state.
However, confusion prevailed on the actual impact on life and property as contrasting figures of casualties surfaced. The Maharashtra Chief Minister's Office released a report on flood-related damages on Saturday, which put the toll at 76. However, state minister Balasaheb Thorat had told reporters a day ago that 136 people died due to incessant rainfall led to landslides. Meanwhile, a PTI tally combining incidents reported in the media so far and based on inputs from local officials put the number at 129.
As many as 54 villages were completed affected due to the floods while 821 were partially affected, officials said. The Panchganga river near the Kolhapur city was flowing at a level higher than that witnessed during the peak of floods in 2019, officials said. Sangli, Kolhapur, Ratnagiri and Satara districts are hit the hardest, especially by landslides and overflowing rivers.
At least 39 roads, including 10 state highways, are closed for traffic due to the floods in Kolhapur district.
Rains, flooding kill 129
"The toll in Maharashtra in the last 48 hours has reached 129. Most of the deaths are from Raigad and Satara districts," the official said.
The deceased included >38 people who perished in a landslide in Mahad, a tehsil in the coastal Raigad district, on Thursday, a senior official from the state disaster management department PTI.
Eleven people, including eight Nepalese workers, were >rescued in the nick of time before the bus in which they were travelling was swept away in a flooded river in Western Maharashtra's >Kolhapur district on around 2.30 am in Pangire village in Bhudargad tehsil.
Landslides also hit >Ambeghar and >Mirgaon villages in >Satara's Patan tehsil during Thursday night, burying a total of eight houses, said Ajay Kumar Bansal, Superintendent of Police, Satara rural. But no deaths have been reported so far.
Ten persons were feared trapped after a landslide in the coastal >Ratnagiri district.
Five people - two in Radhanagari, two in Chandgad and one in Kagal tehsil - died in rain-related incidents in Kolhapur district, officials said.
As many as >84,452 people were shifted to safer places in Western Maharashtra's Pune division as rains battered the region and rivers were in spate, officials said. However, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar put this number at >90,000
As many as >40,882 persons have been shifted from flood-affected areas in Kolhapur district alone.
In neighboring Sangli district, over 36,000 people from 7,000 families have been shifted to safer places, the officials said.
Rescue teams of the National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force and other agencies shifted people to safer locations by Friday evening, the officials said.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 26 teams for undertaking rescue operations
The Army under 'Operation Varsha' has mobilised a total of 15 teams, comprising troops from Aundh Military Station and Bombay Engineer Group based in Pune, have been deployed in affected areas of Ratnagiri, Kolhapur and Sangli districts.
The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has deployed two disaster relief teams in Maharashtra
The Maharashtra government announced an >ex-gratia of Rs five lakh each to the kin of people who have died in landslides triggered by heavy rains in different parts of the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in Raigad district and announced an ex gratia of >Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of the deceased.
A statement from the Chief Minister's Office in Mumbai said, the injured will be treated in hospitals at government expense.
The chief minister asked the authorities to ensure the distribution of food, water, medicines and clothes to the people displaced by floods and heavy rains, the statement said.
Around 2,000 food packets have been distributed to people in Mangaon in Raigad district, the release said.
Maharashtra's Food & Civil supplies Minister Chagan Bhujbal said that free ration will be given to those affected by floods
Each family will receive 10 kg wheat, 10 kg of rice and 5 litres of kerosene for free in six worst-hiy districts, namely Sindhudurg, Satara, Sangli, Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Kolhapur
Shiv Bhojan thalis, the government's subsidised cooked meal service, will also be doubled in these districts
Nine districts battered by floods, red alert in six of them
No immediate relief appears in sight as the India Meteorological Department issued a red alert for six districts that have been already pounded by a downpour, forecasting "extremely heavy" rainfall and recommending preventive actions.
"Fairly widespread to widespread rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy falls are likely to continue over west coast during the next two to three days with reduction thereafter," the IMD said.
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. The three other districts that were battered by rains in the past two days but where red alerts have not been issued are: Mumbai suburban, Thane and Sangli.
Extremely heavy rainfall is "very likely" at isolated places in ghat (hilly/upland) areas, an IMD official said. "Very likely" denotes 51 to 75 percent probability of occurrence, he added. The forecast for Satara is "most likely" which means a probability of more than 75 percent, the IMD said.
Neighbouring states also impacted
Heavy rains in various parts of >Karnataka over the past 24 hours have claimed three lives, led to landslides in eight places and evacuation of about 9,000 people. Two people are still missing, with the state government sounding a red alert in seven districts: These are: Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Shivamogga, Chikkamagaluru, Hassan and Kodagu
IMD issued two red alerts of heavy to very heavy rainfall for isolated places in eastern and western parts of >Madya Pradesh.
Several parts of >Goa, including Sattari and Bicholim tehsils in the north and Dharbandora in the south, are reeling under a flood-like situation, and a large number of houses were inundated as the water level of some rivers rose following heavy rains over the past few days.
In >Telangana, several low-lying areas faced inundation and road links were disrupted following heavy rains during the last two days.
With inputs from PTI