Relief and rescue operations have gathered pace with the defence forces lending a helping hand in the flood affected Ratnagiri and Raigad districts of Maharashtra. As 18 teams of NDRF continue to assist the state government at Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur in its relief and rescue operations, eight more teams are expected to join them today.
Numerous incidents of landslides have caused the death of at least 59 people, with the toll likely to surge much higher. AIR correspondent reports that a total of seven naval teams have been deployed in the worst affected Ratnagiri and Raigad districts in Maharashtra, while one Seaking helicopter has also been pressed into action. Additional Flood Rescue Teams are being maintained on a high degree of readiness at Mumbai for immediate deployment. The Indian Army has launched Operation Varsha by deploying 15 relief and rescue teams in Ratnagiri, Kolhapur and Sangli for providing necessary first aid and medicines to locals being evacuated from flood prone areas. Teams of Indian Coast Guard and Indian Air Force have also been mobilized for relief and assistance.
While rains have taken a breather in some parts, the India Meteorological Department has issued a red alert for Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg in Konkan and also for Pune, Satara and Kolhapur in Western Maharashtra for the next 24 hours. Water level in Kolhapur’s Panchganga river is flowing above the danger mark and the next two days remain critical. The district administration is trying to evacuate people in low-lying areas to minimize loss of lives.