Thirty-six people have died in three landslides in Maharashtra’s Raigad district since Thursday night as incessant rainfall continued in the state. According to The Hindu, 30 to 35 houses were buried when the landslide occurred.
The landslides were reported from in and around Mahad tehsil, according to India Today. “Thirty-two of them [people] died in Talai [in Mahad] and four in Sakhar Sutar Wadi,” Raigad District Collector Nidhi Chaudhary told ANI.
Maharashtra’s Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said 15 to 20 people were still unaccounted for, according to The Hindu.
National Disaster Response Force teams have been deployed to carry out rescue operations. Helicopters have been pressed into service to airlift stranded residents in flood-hit regions of Raigad, about 70 km from Mumbai. The rescuers struggled in their operations because of bad weather and damaged roads.
Rescue teams from the Navy and coastguard are assisting the NDRF, reported NDTV. The Navy has deployed seven rescue teams equipped with rubber boats, life jackets and life buoys.
Two landslides occurred in Satara district, according to the Hindustan Times. At least 22 people are feared trapped there.
“At Ambeghar, four houses were buried under soil following a landslide and 13 to 14 people are feared trapped, while in Mirgaon, three houses were buried and 8 to 10 people are feared trapped,” Satara Superintendent of Police Ajay Kumar Bansal was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took stock of the situation and coordinated with the local authorities on Friday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke to Thackeray and assured him complete support in handling the situation.
Citing the India Meteorological Department’s forecasts, Maharashtra chief minister said the flood situation was likely to be grave for the next few days. “We are making all provisions to take care of those who have lost their houses in the rains,” he was quoted as saying by The Hindu. “While nobody can estimate the extent of rainfall or predict landslides like this, we are combating the crisis despite the pandemic.”
This was the heaviest spell of rain in the state in July in 40 years, according to NDTV.
Earlier in the day, four people were killed and 11 injured after a residential structure collapsed in Mumbai’s Govandi area, The Times of India reported.
The situation in Chiplun in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra was particularly severe as more than 50% area was submerged in flood waters, according to PTI. Hundreds of residents of Chiplun, located around 250 km from Mumbai with a population of 70,000, were stranded in their homes.
The water level in the area rose to 12 feet, NDTV reported. The Vashishti river overflowed, submerging roads and houses. There were disruptions in power supply and phone lines. Patients at a Covid facility had to be rescued in boats after floodwater surrounded the building.
Residents compared the situation to the catastrophic floods in Mumbai on July 26, 2005. At least 450 people had died during the floods and 248 in the aftermath, according to The Indian Express.