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Maharashtra rain fury feared to take 138 lives, 90,000 moved to safe place

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Mumbai: As many as 138 people lost their lives in rain-related incidents, which includes multiple landslides, in Maharashtra. The deaths include 36 who were killed in a landslide in the coastal Raigad district, about 70 km from state capital Mumbai.

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Several districts – primarily the Konkan region – have been receiving incessant rain over the past few days, leaving thousands stranded in floods and landslides.

“138 accidental deaths reported in Maharashtra due to rain and other monsoon-related incidents,” Maharashtra Minister of Relief and Rehabilitation, Vijay Wadettiwar, said.

Satara district in Western Maharashtra has also been battered by rain and several people have been swept away by floodwaters, an official was reported as saying by news agency. The official put the death count in Satara at 27.

Other fatalities include those reported from eastern districts such as Gondia and Chandrapur, he said.

“Rainfall in various parts of the state often coinciding with high tides and also discharge from dams led to various regions… getting inundated,” the Maharashtra government said in a press release.

At least 84,452 people, including over 40,000 in Kolhapur district, were shifted to safer places in Western Maharashtra’s Pune division, officials said. At least 54 villages have been completely affected due to the floods while 821 were partially affected in Kolhapur, where the Panchganga river is flowing at a level higher than that witnessed during the peak of floods in 2019, officials said.

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Eleven people, including eight Nepalese workers, on board a bus had a narrow escape as they were rescued in the nick of time before the vehicle was swept away in Kolhapur district on Friday, police officials said.

Apart from Raigad district, landslides were also reported in Ambeghar and Mirgaon villages in Satara during Thursday night.

Rescue teams of the National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force and other agencies are already in the state to assist the relief work. Six teams of the Indian Army and Navy are expected to join the rescue work today.

The Maharashtra government has announced a compensation of ₹ 5 lakh each to the families of those killed. The injured will be treated in hospitals at government expense, the statement from Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s office said.

Heavy rains since the last two days have caused massive floods in Raigad, Ratnagiri, Palghar, Thane, Sindhudurg, Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara districts.

The India Meteorological Department, or IMD, has issued a red alert for six districts that have been already affected by the downpour, forecasting “extremely heavy” rainfall and recommending preventive measures.

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Flooding and landslides are common during the monsoon season, which also often sees poorly constructed buildings and walls buckling after days of non-stop rain.

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