Flood-scarred Maharashtra’s Toll Zooms to 149, 2.29 Lakhs Evacuated

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Maharashtra Monsoon Mayhem: NDRF Continues Relief & Rescue Ops in Ratnagiri, Kolhapur. Source- Internet

MUMBAI— The death toll in flood-ravaged Maharashtra shot up from 112 to 149 on Sunday while another 64 are still missing, the State Disaster Management Authority said.

In what is billed as the biggest flood rescue operations in the state in decades, over 2.29 lakh people have been evacuated to safer areas after their homes were submerged in flood waters, in some places up to 20 feet high.

As many as 50 people were injured and are undergoing treatment at various hospitals in Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Sangli, Satara, and Kolhapur.

With rains taking a respite on Sunday, the flood-ravaged districts presented a grim scenario with scores of people grappling to rebuild their lives.

Continuing his tour of the ravaged areas in coastal Konkan for the second day, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray visited badly-affected towns like Chiplun and Khed in Ratnagiri.

Union MSME Minister Narayan Rane, accompanied by Bharatiya Janata Party’s Leaders of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis (Assembly) and Pravin Darekar (Council) also toured some of the regions like Taliye village in Raigad and Chiplun in Ratnagiri.

He assured to submit his tour report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said both the Centre and state government will unitedly work to rehabilitate the flood-victims.

Later, he launched a scathing attack on the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, accusing it for various lapses and delays by the administration in rushing help to the affected populace.

According to the SDMA, the towns of Chiplun and Khed in Ratnagiri district were completely inundated and cut off as the bridge on River Vashishti was washed away on Friday.

As unprecedented rains jacked up the water levels to more than 15-20 feet, thousands of people, stranded on rooftops or upper floors of their houses, were seen screaming for help.

Teams of the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, NDRF, and SDRF are still deployed in various areas, rescuing people, and providing food or medicine and other aid materials to the victims, said the SDMA.

People in several towns and villages voiced their rage at the administration for not rushing them food, water, clothes, medicines, cleaning materials and other items of daily use to help them re-start their lives from scratch.

When Thackeray, ministers and officials went to the affected, they were virtually mobbed by desperate people demanding help, recounted tragic tales of how they survived only in the clothes they wore and had lost absolutely everything in the flood fury.

Over a dozen hillslides and landslips have been reported in different districts which buried scores and many more reported missing, while scores of roads in the regions are still closed for vehicular movement.

The state government has sanctioned Rs 2 crore each for Raigad and Ratnagiri for relief operations and Rs 50 lakh for the other affected regions where water levels have started receding and cleaning operations have been taken up. IANS

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