Rain batters coastal, western Maharashtra; thousands marooned


Mumbai, Jul 22 (IANS): Incessant torrential rains played havoc with normal life in western and coastal Maharashtra since the past 24 hours, disrupting normal life even as rescue teams were deployed to shift thousands marooned in different towns, officials said here on Thursday.

Heavy rains have lashed coastal districts of Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and western districts Satara, Kolhapur, besides Pune, Nashik, resulting in big and small rivers swelling above the danger levels.

Several towns and cities like Bhiwandi, Badlapur, Ulhasnagar, Kalyan, Dombivali, Chiplun Khed, Sawantwadi, Mangaon, Kudal, and others were inundated with three to six feet water, and higher levels in some lowlying areas.

Flood waters rushed into the shops, offices, homes and ground floor flats, many big and small vehicles were fully submerged or washed away, and people remained trapped in their homes for hours.

Relief & Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said that two NDRF teams have been rushed to rescue people stuck in floods waters in Chiplun to safer locations.

"We are sending Indian Coast Guard helicopters to the badly areas soon. ICG speed-boats have been deployed for help from Ratnagiri. Arrangements have been made to provide food packets and medicines to the affected people… The situation is very grim and we are closely monitoring it," Wadettiwar said.

Long-distance trains on the Central Railway network were disrupted in Thane, Nashik, Pune, Kolhapur and other sections with trains stranded on flooded railway tracks at various locations.

Central Railway Spokesperson Shivaji Sutar said that stranded passengers were taken by state buses to safer locations and catering services provided to them.

Several parts have recorded unprecedented rains in the past 24 hours, with Mahabaleshwar hillstation in Satara notching 480-mm, the highest in 45 years, Matheran recording 330-mm rains, while many other areas saw rains in excess of 200 mm, creating panic.

In view of the situation, Shiv Sena MP from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg constituency Vinayak Parab, currently in New Delhi for the parliament session is rushing to Konkan, while other senior party leaders from Mumbai and other parts have reached there.

At least 27 villages in Ratnagiri's Mangaon were cut off with all approach state and locals roads, bridges flooded as local rivers inundated the region, and the local authorities were trying to send rescue teams.

In Thane's Kalyan town, flood waters of the rains and the local Thane Creek inundated large parts, and around 1,200 buffaloes trapped in a dairy farm were rescued safely Thursday morning by the stable owners.

A Mantralaya official said that top leaders including Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and others are continuously monitoring the developing situation and directed measures to prevent any loss of lives.

 

  

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Title: Rain batters coastal, western Maharashtra; thousands marooned



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