21 killed as rains wreak havoc in MaharashtraOctober 3rd, 2009 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, Oct 3 (IANS) The receding monsoon has lashed the coastal and southern districts of Maharashtra claiming at least 21 lives so far, officials said Saturday.
At least 19 people were killed in 24 hours till Saturday evening, Maharashtra Chief Secretary Johny Joseph said, adding that at least 72 people were also rescued from various parts of the state in the same period. Two people were earlier killed in Chandrapur.
In the 48 hours to Saturday evening, Vengurla in Ratnagiri district recorded 442 mm of rain - the highest in over three decades, followed by Kudal which recorded 422 mm, a district oiffial said.
Thirteen people, including eight of a family were killed in a landslide in the hills of Ratnagiri Friday.
Early Saturday, a man driving along a flooded road was washed away with the vehicle before he could be rescued in Sindhudurg district.
In Sholapur district, at least six people were killed in different incidents.
In eastern Maharashtra’s Chandrapur district, a woman was killed when she was struck by lightning Friday night.
Life has been thrown out of gear since Thursday with torrential rains in the entire southern Konkan belt comprising Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts.
The Moti lake in the centre of Sawantwadi town overflowed for the first time in over a century and Sindhudurg district, bordering Goa, has recorded over 370 mm of rain in the past two days, said a district official.
Most major towns and villages in the coastal areas have been under two to three feet of flood water as local rivers swelled with the heavy rain.
The flood waters have left many homes, plantations, bridges, highways and other roads badly damaged.
Traffic on the Mumbai-Goa highway came to a standstill since early Saturday, stranding several thousands of tourists on both sides and en route.
Nearly 100 people traveling in three luxury tourist buses spent Friday night on the roofs of their vehicles as flood water entered the vehicles on the Mumbai-Goa highway.
Ratnagiri district officials finally managed to put a team in place and rescued them Saturday afternoon.
Train operations were badly hit on the Konkan Railway that connects Mumbai with Kerala on the west coastal route.
Electricity and telecommunication lines have been severely hit in most areas, hampering relief and rescue operations.
Meanwhile, the met department has forecast heavy rain and thundershowers over Mumbai and parts of the Konkan in the next 48 hours to Monday.
Six sub-districts in three districts were placed on high alert for floods for the next 24 hours till Sunday.
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