Mumbai, Sep 29 (IANS): At least 436 people were killed in various rain-related incidents in the state in the monsoon season since June 1, Maharashtra Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said on Wednesday.
This includes at least 15 deaths in the past 3 days alone, owing to heavy downpour and massive floods in large parts of the state triggered by the after-effects of Cyclone Gulab .
Of the 436, the bodies of at least six have yet to be recovered, the minister said, after a flood review meeting convened by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
"The state has been hit hard this monsoon season and the vagaries of nature back-to-back. Of the 436 fatalities so far, 196 were killed due to lightning strikes. The rest were due to floods, house crashes, landslides or hill slides, drowning, and other rain-related tragedies," Wadettiwar said.
In September alone, there were 71 deaths reported from different areas, while the largest single tragic incident of the season was on July 23, where more than 60 people were buried alive.
The monsoon downpour was compounded by events like the mega-floods in July, heavy rainfall at various times in the coastal Konkan, Marathwada, Vidarbha, and currently the fresh spell precipitated by Cyclone Gulab.
Prior to the monsoon, in mid-May, the state was battered by Cyclone Tauktae, which killed at least 86 people, mostly in the Arabian Sea incidents around the Mumbai High Fields.
The IMD has forecast rainy weather in Marathwada and central Maharashtra, though the rains may subside in the Konkan and other parts of the state for the next few days till October 4.
With heavy windspeeds of between 60 kmph-100 kmph in the Arabian Sea around 75 kms from the Maharashtra and Gujarat coasts, fisherfolk have been advised against venturing out into the sea till Sunday.