Heavy rains claim seven lives in Vidarbha

August 5th, 2008 - 8:39 pm ICT by IANS  


Nagpur, Aug 5 (IANS) After an agonizing dry spell, it is the turn of torrential rains to keep Vidarbha on tenterhooks. Heavy downpour since Monday morning claimed seven lives in eastern Vidarbha, cut off hundreds of villages and caused disruption in road traffic at some places, official sources said. The worst affected was the Chandrapur city and district which recorded a rainfall of 1200 millimetres in the 48 hours ending 8.00 a.m. Tuesday. The bulk of the rainfall occurred in the wee hours of Monday, causing three deaths in a wall collapse in Chandrapur city.

Three more people died in a lightning strike in Malewada village of Nagpur district whereas a farm labourer was washed away in Wardha district.

A massive 3150 mm rainfall was recorded in Chandrapur district in the seven days between July 30 and August 5, out of a total rainfall of 9383 mm recorded since June 1, district collector Pradip Kalbhor told IANS.

While there were intermittent rains in all eleven districts of Vidarbha Sunday, rains wreaked havoc early Monday morning flooding several nullahs in Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Wardha and Nagpur districts in eastern Vidarbha besides Yavatmal district in western Vidarbha and inundating many low lying areas.

Those who died in Chandrapur were Shyamsundar Hiralal Tandon, a trader, Ashwini Girsawale, a housewife, and Donuji Gurnule, a labourer.

Sixty-year old Tandon was inspecting the damage caused to his ancestral house at Gandhi Chowk in the city when a wall fell on him. Ashwini Girsawale too was crushed under the compound wall of her own house in Sarkar Nagar while watching the rising water level in the premises, and Gurnule was crushed under another compound wall in Padoli area while digging a furrow to drain out clogged water.

On Monday afternoon in Malewada, a farmer, Ramu Khandal was busy transplanting paddy in his farm along with farm hand Raju Kshirsagar when a lightning struck, killing Khandal and severely injuring Raju, who is under treatment.

Another lightning struck Vasant Ingole, Sanjay Gowardipe and Namdeo Pangul in a farm some distance away a while later. While Ingole, a farmer, and Gowardipe, his labourer, died on the spot, another labourer Pangul survived but suffered severe burn injuries.

Bhagirath Surjuse, a farm labourer in Wardha district, was washed away in river Wardha while trying to cross it on his way back home after the day’s work in village Sukli. His body was spotted near a bridge Monday.

While rivers Irai and Wardha abutting Chandrapur and Wardha districts and bigger rivers Wainganga, Godavari, Indravati and Pamulgautami flowing along Gadchiroli district are swelling, they are still way below the danger mark, Gadchiroli’s resident district collector P.D. Badkelwar told IANS.

“Our disaster management machinery and administration are in a state of preparedness to tackle any situation though the weather bureau has not forecast heavy rains,” Badkelwar said, adding that traffic on the Aheri-Etapalli and Aheri-Alapalli roads, blocked due to submerged bridges for two days, resumed by Tuesday evening.

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