Red alert in Palghar as rivers overflow

Villages marooned, rescue teams deployed to avert mishaps, holiday for schools

August 04, 2019 12:53 am | Updated 12:53 am IST - Mumbai

Rising to dangerous levels: Water from the Surya river, which breached its banks on Saturday, threatens to submerge Maswan village in Palghar distict.

Rising to dangerous levels: Water from the Surya river, which breached its banks on Saturday, threatens to submerge Maswan village in Palghar distict.

The unrelenting downpour on Saturday caused two rivers in Palghar to overflow, wreaking havoc in the district on Saturday. There was waterlogging across the district. Several villages were marooned as roads connecting them were flooded. The heavy rain prompted authorities to declare a holiday for educational institutions and issue an advisory asking people to stay indoors.

Cows washed away

Vaitarna and Surya rivers overflowed after rain continued to lash unabated since Friday night. The raging waters washed away four of five cows crossing an old bridge over Surya river near Varoti village in Dahanu taluka. A video of the incident shot by a local showed the fifth cow turn back with slow, uncertain steps on the waterlogged bridge. An official from the district disaster management team said, “There are two bridges over the river and the cows were walking on the submerged lower bridge. We haven’t yet traced the owner of the cows. We have alerted the Coast Guard and the fire brigade. However, chances of finding the cows are slim.”

Meanwhile, Dhamni dam on Surya river reached its maximum capacity on Saturday. All five gates of the dam were opened up to 1 metre, leading to discharge of 16,068.27 cusecs. From the Kawdas pick up weir, 42,500 cusecs were released into Surya river till 1 p.m. Vivekanada Kadam, chief of the district disaster management team, said, “We have issued a red alert in all villages along the banks of the river. A holiday has been declared for all schools in the district. Disaster management teams have been deployed across villages to prevent mishaps.”

The flooding of the rivers led to the closure of several bridges and roads in the district. Vikramgad and Jawhar areas were cut off after Sakhare bridge went under water. Manor-Vikramgad bridge was shut to traffic amid tight police bandobast on Saturday morning. Mr. Kadam said, “Apart from Vikramgad-Jawhar and Manor-Vikramgad bridges, several bridges and roads were submerged. Our squads have been deployed at vulnerable spots to ensure public safety. They will guard the area till the water recedes.”

Sita Ghatal, a resident of Vilseth village in Vikarmgad taluka, said, “Small bridges connecting villages have gone under water. There is waterlogging and people can’t even step out of their houses. Continuous rainfall has left villagers marooned.” Water entered houses at Maswan, Chinchoti, Gothanpada. Amid heavy rain, two trees came crashing down in Chinchani and Kasa, but no casualties were reported.

According to the India Meteorological Department, 157 mm rainfall was recorded in the district till 8 a.m. District Collector Kailas Shinde said, “Considering the heavy rainfall warning, people are advised to remain indoors and step out only if it is absolutely necessary. People should not go near the flooded roads, bridges, and rivers.” He said in case of any emergency, citizens are requested to get in touch with the disaster control room at the district headquarters.

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