Parts of Ratnagiri inundated after heavy rains, hurdles faced in rescue ops; 2 dead in landslide

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Mumbai, Jul 22 (PTI) Chiplun, Khed and some other towns in Maharashtra's Ratnagiri were inundated following heavy rains, with inclement weather and incessant downpour creating difficulties for the government agencies to carry out rescue operations in this district located in the Konkan region, a state minister said on Thursday.

An official said that two persons died due to a landslide near Parshuram ghat in the district during the day.

Major rivers in Ratnagiri district, including Jagbudi, Vashishti, Kodavali, Shastri, Bav have been flowing above the danger level following heavy rains. As a result of this, Khed, Chiplun, Lanja, Rajapur, Sangameshwar towns and nearby areas have been affected and the government agencies are engaged in the task of shifting local residents to safer places, the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said earlier.

Talking to PTI over phone, Transport Minister Anil Parab, who is the district guardian minister of Ratnagiri, said that road connectivity in parts of the district has been completely snapped due to heavy rains.

'Chiplun town is completely inundated. Similar situation prevails in Khed. There is difficulty in reaching these places since all roads are closed. Rescue teams from municipality, Coast Guard, Customs are using their boats to shift people from the low- lying areas. We have opened marriage halls, school buildings so that the evacuated people can spend their night there,' he said.

Parab, who is in Ratnagiri to monitor the rescue and relief operations, said that National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams are unable to reach the spots due to unfavourable weather conditions.

'The helicopters that are engaged in the operations had to go back. The stranded people will be evacuated to safer places when choppers reach. Till then, we are providing food and water to the affected people,” he added.

The minister said that the region has been witnessing continuous rain and the water level of rivers is not showing signs of receding.

Ratnagiri collector told PTI that incessant showers led to an incident landslide in the district, in which two persons were killed. 'The landslide near Parshuram ghat claimed the lives of two persons. A rescue team has reached the spot to assess if there was any more damage. Identification of the victims is being carried out. Heavy rainfall and flooding on the streets have affected the communication in the region,' he said.

'The flooding in Chiplun town has not claimed any life so far. But we will be able to assess the damage to life and property only after the water recedes,' Patil said.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took a review of the situation in Ratnagiri and Raigad districts by holding a meeting with the officials. During the meeting, he said that the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an alert of heavy rainfall in this region for the next three days. PTI MR ND NP NP

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