On Wednesday, the Indian Meteorological Department issued an 'extremely heavy rain' warning for Pune, Satara, and Kolhapur districts in Maharashtra for Thursday and Friday (8 and 9 August). In Mumbai, moderate to heavy spells of rain are expected to lash the city and its suburbs on Thursday night, Skymet Weather predicted. Continous heavy rainfall has disrupted train services across the state as well with various trains witnessing cancellations and delays due to traffic snarls at major junctions.
Over 16 people have been reported dead due to heavy downpour and flood-related incidents in the last seven days in Pune, districts of Satara, Sangli, Solapur and Kolhapur. Divisional Commissioner of Pune Division Deepak Mhaisekar told Press Trust of India, "Four people died in Pune, seven in Satara, two in Sangli, two in Kolhapur and one in Solapur."
Meanwhile, a rescue boat carrying 27 people capsized in Sangli, and Maharashtra government authorities said that nine have died and 16 others have been rescued.
Mhaisekar said, "A boat overturned near Bhamnal in the Palus block of Sangli district. There were 27-30 villagers on that boat. So far, nine bodies have been recovered, and 16 people have been rescued. Rest are still missing."
Red alert for Pune, Satara and Kolhapur
"All the dams in the region are overflowing and the Met department has predicted continuous rains for the next three to four days. So if the catchment areas of dams receive more rain, the possibility of more floods cannot be ruled out," Mhaisekar added.
All schools and colleges will remain closed in Kolhapur, Pune, Raigad, Sangli, and Satara. Educational institutions in three tehsils of Pune district and in five tehsils of Sangli will also remain closed on Thursday.
Nearly 2,56,755 people in Pune district alone are living without electricity, said Mhaisekar.
Anupam Kashyapi, head, weather department, IMD said, "There is a red alert exclusively for ghat areas of Pune district," he said. As the dams near Pune are filled to the brim, more water will have to be released, so there is a possibility of "partial inundation" in Pune city and outskirts on Friday, Kashyapi further added.
Ghat areas of Kolhapur are expected to receive extremely heavy rain and "heavy to very heavy rain" on Friday. However, Kashyapi said for the rest of Maharashtra, there will be a reduction in rainfall on 10 and 11 August. "There will be a significant reduction lasting for at least three to four days," he added.
According to Skymet, Mahabaleshwar recorded 15 spells of 3-digit rainfall, that includes three spells of over 300 mm of rain, seven spells of over 200 mm and five spells of over 100 mm. Till Wednesday night, Sangli had recorded 213 percent; Satara: 173 percent, Pune: 166 percent, Kolhapur: 116 percent, Solapur: 78 percent.
According to Hindustan Times, compared to last year's monsoon, Pune has recorded 440.5 mm rainfall over the last four months, which was almost 300 mm less than the yearly average. IMD’s Shivajinagar weather observatory in Pune recorded 6.2 mm rain over 24 hours till 8.30 am on Wednesday. Now, the year’s tally is 735.6 mm versus the annual average of 740 mm, the report further added..
Train services disrupted
Central Railways announced that special train services will run between Miraj and Karad for the next three days, starting today, as road traffic has been disrupted due to heavy rainfall and waterlogging in Karad, Sangli, Miraj, and Pandharpur.
These regions have been witnessing heavy downpour for the past few days causing traffic snarls at major junctions and also disrupting the trains services.
Central Railway Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO): Special service train to run between Miraj & Karad for 3 days, starting today as road traffic has been disrupted due to heavy rains & water logging in Karad, Sangli, Miraj, & Pandharpur. #Maharashtra pic.twitter.com/MsibF7XHe6
— ANI (@ANI) August 8, 2019
8 August: Train no 22115 Lokmanya Tilak (T) - Karmali Express;
8 August: Train no 22116 Karmali - Lokmanya Tilak (T) Express;
9 August: Train no 01181 Lokmanya Tilak (T) - Sawantwadi Road Weekly Special;
11 August: Train no 01182 Sawantwadi Road - Lokmanya Tilak (T) Weekly Special;
10 August: Train no 01191 Panvel - Sawantwadi Road Weekly Special;
10 August: Train no 01192 Sawantwadi Road - Panvel Weekly Special.
People rescued from waterlogged districts
Mhaisekar said that a total of 1,32,360 people from 28,397 families have been evacuated from Pune, Satara and Kolhapur districts. In Sangli and Kolhapur districts, over 53,000 and 51,000 people, respectively were evacuated, he said. In Solapur district, 2,500 people were moved to safer places in the temple town of Pandharpur after the discharge of water from the overflowing Ujani dam increased, he added.
"Nearly 2.5 lakh people have been evacuated in Sangli, Kolhapur, and Pune," he said. He warned people against travelling on the Mumbai-Bengaluru national highway.
"All the dams in the region are overflowing and the Met department has predicted continuous rains for the next three to four days. So if the catchment areas of dams receive more rain, the possibility of more floods can not be ruled out," Mhaisekar added. In Pune district, over 13,000 people were shifted to safer places, he said.
In Satara district, the flood situation is grim in Mahabaleshwar, Wai, and Karad and so far at least 6,000 have been evacuated. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has rescued more than 3,000 people in flood-affected Kolhapur district.
Reviewing flood situation, says Devendra Fadnavis
Maharashtra received 104 percent of the average rainfall between June and August this year though Marathwada and parts of Vidarbha are rain-deficient, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Wednesday.
Konkan and Western Maharashtra have received very heavy rains and the flood situation in Kolhapur was critical, he said.
He reviewed the flood situation at a meeting in Mumbai. He told reporters later that the state received 104 percent of average rain during June-August period, most of it in western Maharashtra and Konkan.
"342 bridges have gone underwater and are closed for vehicles. Twenty-nine state highways and 56 roads have also been shut. NH 4 and Kolhapur-Ratnagiri highway (part of Mumbai-Goa highway) are closed," a state official said.
Speaking to reporters, Fadnavis, who took a break from his ongoing 'Maha Janadesh Yatra' ahead of elections to review the flood situation, announced that compensation for flood-affected persons would be increased from Rs 2,500-5,000 to Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000.
"For the loss incurred due to rains and floods after 26 July (when the present spell of heavy showers began) the compensation will be Rs 10,000 per family in rural areas, and Rs 15,000 in urban areas. Post 26 July, if the home was flooded for more than two days, or house or household items were washed away, the family would get Rs 10,000 (instead of earlier Rs 5,000) in rural areas and Rs 15,000 in urban areas," he said.
"All guardian ministers of flood-hit districts are monitoring the situation," Fadnavis added.
Mumbai and adjoining areas, especially Thane, Kalyan, and Palghar, witnessed heavy rains through the past week.
With inputs from agencies.
Updated Date: Aug 08, 2019 14:51:35 IST