Two killed as heavy rains lash coastal Maharashtra

July 22nd, 2010 - 6:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, July 22 (IANS) Two people have lost their lives in torrential rains that have lashed the Konkan region of Maharashtra since Monday. The rains have severely disrupted normal life and affected rail and road traffic, an official said here Thursday.
“Two people were washed away in flood waters in Ragnagiri district Thursday morning and a search is on to retrieve their bodies,” resident deputy collector Makarand Deshmukh said.

“The victims, Ganesh S. Jadhav hailed from Khed town while Sambhaji B. Patil was from Ratnagiri town,” Deshmukh added.

The Konkan Railway imposed speed restrictions on its services on the Mumbai-Mangalore route passing through the Konkan region, while train services were briefly blocked Thursday morning on the southern sector in view of the heavy downpour.

“Traffic on the busy Mumbai-Goa Highway was blocked for over two hours Thursday afternoon as water from local rivers flooded the highway,” Vikram Kumar, collector of Sindhudurg district said.

“Around 50 homes were damaged in the rains in the district and reports of more destruction are coming from the interior areas and far flung villages,” he added.

In Ragnagiri, vehicular traffic to several interior towns like Mandangad, Chiplun, Dapoli, Khed and surrounding villages was disrupted as swollen rivers flooded the roads.

All the major rivers in the Konkan region including Savitri, Vashishth, Jagbudi, Sorad and others originating from the Western Ghats were flowing at the danger mark, posing a threat to towns and villages downstream on the western side.

Police, civil and medical officials in all the districts are in a state of high alert to tackle any emergency situation arising out of the ongoing heavy rains and forecast of more rains in the next three days.

Raigad district collector Subhash Sonawane said that though the district has been spared of any human casualties or damages to properties so far, there have been landslides and trees uprooted in several parts, disrupting traffic movement in the affected areas.

Thane resident deputy collector Amol Yadav said that heavy rains have disrupted normal life in most parts of the district, including Palghar, Vasai-Virar and other towns.

Western Railway officials in Mumbai said that local trains were running with delays of 30 minutes.

Traffic snarls were witnessed on some points of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway, the Western Express and Eastern Express highways.

The picturesque Konkan region - dotted with pristine beaches, sea and hill forts, hill-stations and nature parks - comprises the coastal districts of Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.

They account for an average of around 3,600 mm of rainfall during monsoon each year, making it one of the wettest regions in Maharashtra. So far, the region has received nearly 60 percent of its annual rainfall requirements.

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