42 killed in landslides, rain-related incidents

Monsoon mayhem in Maharashtra

Mumbai, July 23: At least 42 people have died in rain-related incidents in Maharashtra, 36 of them in a landslide in coastal Raigad district, while 10 persons were feared trapped after a landslide in Ratnagiri district as heavy rains continued to wreak havoc in Maharashtra, where residents are being evacuated from hilly regions in Konkan, officials said on Friday.
Eleven people on board a bus had a narrow escape as they were rescued just before the vehicle got washed away into a river in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra early on Friday, police said.
No immediate relief appears in sight as the India Meteorological Department issued a red alert for six districts which have been already pounded by downpour, 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. The landslide in Raigad district took place near Talai village in Mahad tehsil on Thursday evening. “Thirty-six bodies have been recovered from the landslide spot so far,” a senior police official said.
The search and rescue operation is on by NDRF teams, personnel of the local disaster management cell, police and district administration, he said. Raigad district collector Nidhi Choudhary said the landslide incident was reported late Thursday evening. According to officials, there are around 30 houses in the village, which were completely damaged due to the incident.
In the 24 hours ended at 8.30 am on Friday, 165 mm average rainfall was recorded in Raigad district. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray expressed grief over the loss of lives in the landslide and spoke to the Raigad collector about the flood situation on Mahad, an official release said in Mumbai. Rescue teams have begun evacuating stranded people using helicopters, the release said. Thackeray directed the district administration to expedite rescue operations and clearing of roads.
The water levels have receded but in hilly areas, roads and bridges have been washed away. Thackeray has asked the authorities to ensure well-being of COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment in various hospitals, the release said. (PTI)

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