MUMBAI: In a series of massive disasters, at least 73 villagers are reportedly buried alive in hillsides and landslides that occurred in Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Satara districts of the state following torrential rains.
The death toll may increase further as the removal of debris is still going on at places.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has announced Rs 5 lakh as financial aid to the kin of the deceased and free medical treatment to the injured. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also announced Rs 2 lakh aid to the next kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured from the Prime Minister National Relief Fund.
The major landslide occurred at Tayle village near Mahad where more than 35 houses were washed away. While 38 bodies were recovered from the spot, the same number of people are feared to be trapped. The landslide occurred when people were sleeping in their houses on Thursday night. In the morning, locals came and recovered the bodies from the debris and sent them to a nearby hospital for the post mortem.
The local authority and NDRF are removing the debris and rescuing the trapped people. At Sakhar Sutar Wadi village in Raigad district, five people reportedly died. The same number of people too died at Kevnale village in the same district.
While 13 people reportedly died in various rain-related incidents in Satara district, 10 Covid patients, who were on ventilators, died following the power outage due to flooding.
The Army, Navy, and NDRF teams have been roped in for the rescue operation. In the Ratnagiri district alone, the rescue teams have rescued 1,200 people.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has been taking stock of the situation since Friday morning. Thackeray said that he cannot describe the quantum of rainfall and flooding. Thackeray said that he got the call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had assured him to extend all help.
Saving the lives of the people is our first and most priority,” Thackeray said, adding many places the highways and access roads are caved in that made it difficult to reach out to the affected spots and people.
Deputy CM Ajit Pawar spoke to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh over the phone and sought his help in rescue work. Meanwhile, NCP leader Supriya Sule and Shiv Sena MPs Priyanka Chaturvedi and Anil Desai met Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in Delhi and sought the centre's help in rescue and rehabilitation work.
The guardian minister for Raigad district Aditi Tatkare, who was at Tahile village in Mahad, said that there was record rainfall for the last couple of days. “The people who were staying near hilly areas got trapped in the landslides on Thursday night. The majority of this village got washed away due to flooding and landslide. The rescue operation is continuing on a war footing,” Tatkare said.
Pravin Darekar, the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, said after the report of flooding and damages occurred in the Konkan area, they rushed to review the ground situation. However, there was not a single officer at the spot. He said if they can reach the area from Mumbai, then why not the officers who are staying nearby. “This is nothing but lethargy on the part of the government. CM Uddhav Thackeray did not visit the affected areas. And his staffers prefer to work from the AC cabins only. This is unfortunate,” Darekar said.
MNS chief Raj Thackeray, meanwhile, said that this is not the time one should indulge in politics. Everyone should act together and rescue the people as early as possible, he added.