A mountain of disaster looms over Kolhapur

Kolhapur: For the last 10 days, Kolhapur residents have been reeling under the onslaught of floods. Thousands had to flee their homes to save their lives and recollect the horror of their homes and belongings being washed away. In the districts of Sangli and Kolhapur, the death toll stands at 43 so far.

Even as the residents of Ajra and Bhoodargadh talukas are trying to cope with the floods, a new disaster looms over their heads. The mountains bordering villages in these two talukas have developed deep cracks and villagers fear a repeat of the Malin tragedy.

Many are now living in relief camps, while there are other homeless living under the skies, in these areas. Animal herders were the first to spot the cracks in the mountains when they took their cattle, goats and sheep for grazing and alerted the villagers.

The fissures are about 1.5km long. Villagers are now running in fear of being buried alive if the mountain comes crashing down. On July 30, 2014, the village of Malin in Pune district was destroyed by a landslide early morning, while residents were asleep.

This was believed to have been triggered by a burst of heavy rainfall, and at least 151 people perished. Experts say the environmental destruction is causing such landslides.

Entire villages in Kolhapur have been destroyed by the heavy floods, after incessant rains lashed this region. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and non-governmental organisations trooped in to carry out rescue and relief operations.

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