At least eight people were killed and 15 missing after heavy rainfall led to a breach in the Tiware Dam in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra on Tuesday night, ANI reported.
It also caused a flood-like situation in seven downstream villages and at least 12 houses adjacent to the dam have been washed away, ANI reported. A team of National Disaster Response Force, police and volunteers carried out rescue operations and retrieved six bodies on Wednesday morning.
National Disaster Response Force Director General SN Pradhan said around 23 people were reported missing after the 12 houses near the dam were washed away, ANI reported. “Eight bodies have been recovered till now,” he said. “Search operation is underway for the missing 15.”
The incident happened around 9.30 pm on Tuesday night, Resident Deputy Collector Datta Bhadakawad told IANS. “Police have moved the villagers to safety. The situation is under control now,” Additional Superintendent of Police, Ratnagiri, Vishal Gaikwad told PTI.
Another unidentified police officer said rescue operations were initially hampered because of darkness and a sudden influx of water.
The affected villages in the area include Daadar, Akle, Riktoli, Ovali, Kalkavne and Nandivase, with an estimated total population of around 3,000 people, and around 90 km from the district headquarters.
The dam was built in 2000 and residents of the area claimed that they had informed the district authorities of its leakage two years ago, but no action was taken by the authorities, according to IANS. Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan also said villagers in the vicinity of the Tiware dam had complained of cracks in the dam.
The India Meteorological Department has also predicted extremely heavy to very heavy rains in Mumbai and many parts of coastal Konkan, besides Vidarbha and Marathwada, till Friday.
At least 32 people had died across Maharashtra in rain-related incidents on Monday and Tuesday. Since Monday night, Mumbai also received near record rainfall for a 24-hour period – the highest since the deluge of 2005 and the second-highest downpour since 1974 – forcing authorities to curtail train services and disrupting traffic on roads. Heavy rainfall was also recorded in Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts, and also in the western parts of the state – Nashik, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg.