Incessant showers continued to batter Maharashtra on July 13 with rivers crossing their danger-levels, dams overflowing, landslides, traffic snarls in urban centres, and communication to villages cut off in several districts in the State.
Two persons of a family were killed and two other family members were rescued following a landslide in Vasai on Wednesday July 13 when a portion of a hillock came crashing down on an illegal chawl in the Bhoidapada area, around 70 km from Mumbai city.
According to the authorities, the total toll in rain-related incidents and flood-like situation reached 89 with five fatalities reported in the last 24 hours alone.
Stating that the administration was keeping a close watch on the emergency situation created by the rains in several parts of the State, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said he was in continuous touch with all District Collectors in order to ensure that communication lines were maintained even in remote and far-flung areas.
“I have been talking to all the District Collectors since morning… instructions have been given to alert all citizens regarding the time of water release from dams in respective districts. All relief systems in the State are alert and ready. Efforts are being made to prevent mishaps. All district administrations have been given necessary instructions to provide food and the requisite facilities to persons who have been evacuated from rain-hit areas,” Mr. Shinde said.
There was no let-up in showers over Mumbai city and the adjoining Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Pune district, and the Konkan belt throughout the day.
The intensity of the downpour compelled civic authorities in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad to issue notifications for all schools, government-run and private, to remain closed on July 14.
With the Khadakwasla dam — Pune city’s primary potable water source — filled to the brim, a discharge of 13,138 cusecs was effected late afternoon, with an accompanying alert for citizens living near the banks of the Mula-Mutha river.
The hill station of Lonavla received 220 mm rain in barely 24 hours and a staggering 952 mm rain in the last six days, the authorities said.
Mumbai continued to reel under the onslaught of rain, with commuting being thrown off-kilter and massive traffic snarls seen throughout the city as incidents of BEST buses breaking down on roads inundated with knee-high water were reported from a number of points throughout the city.
As with every monsoon, heavy water-logging was witnessed in the low-lying areas. A consolation came in the form of the still-functioning local train service — Mumbai’s commuting lifeline — with the Central and Western Railway routes being largely unaffected.
While the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an ‘orange alert’ for Mumbai and Thane for Thursday, a ‘red alert’ has been issued for Palghar, Raigad and Pune for the next 48 hours.
Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara districts in western Maharashtra continued to receive heavy showers with the Panchganga river in Kolhapur just four feet short of its danger-mark of 43 ft.
Heavy showers battered the usually arid Vidarbha region as well, with communication in several villages in Wardha and Chandrapur districts cut owing to the downpour.
Extremely heavy rains continued to pummel Gadchiroli district.
The IMD has forecast moderate to light thunderstorms with lightning at isolated places over Nagpur, Amravati, Bhandara, Gondia and Chandrapur districts of Vidarbha with the possibility of intense spells of rain at isolated places over Gondia, Nagpur and Amravati districts.