71 killed in landslides, rain-related incidents in Maharashtra

Express News Service
MUMBAI: In a series of massive disasters, at least 71 villagers are reported buried alive in hillsides and landslides that occurred in Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Satara districts of the state following torrential rains.

According to sources, landslides killed 38 people at Taliya village (Mahad) and 11 at Poladpur (both in Raigad district), 14 in Satara district, and eight at Chiplun in the last two days.

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.

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has been taking the stock of the situation since morning. Uddhav Thackeray said that he cannot describe the quantum of rainfall and flooding.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken with me and assured all possible help. We are engaging the army, Navy, NDRF, and other authorities to rescue the trapped people. Saving the lives of the people is our first and most priority,” Uddhav 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.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that as per initial reports, between 30 and 35 people have perished in a hillside tragedy in a remote Raigad village and huge efforts are underway to rescue those stuck under the boulders and slush.

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.