The rescue team toiled relentlessly to recover more victims from the debris in Irsalwadi, Khalapur taluka of Raigad district, where a massive landslide buried an entire village. Until 5.30 pm on Friday, six more bodies were retrieved, bringing the total death toll to 22. The operation was suspended for the day due to inclement weather conditions and heavy rainfall, making the rescue efforts extremely challenging for the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and other teams.
NDRF officials issued a statement citing that the rescue operation remained suspended on Friday due to adverse weather conditions and heavy rains. It is set to resume at 5.00 a.m. on Saturday. On Thursday, operations were halted at 5.00 p.m. As of Friday, the team successfully recovered six bodies, comprising three males and three females.
The rescue team has so far managed to rescue 103 individuals, but there are grave concerns about numerous villagers still trapped beneath the debris. Notably, the rescue teams did not only focus on human lives; they also saved 11 goats and 10 cattle. Regrettably, three bulls and one goat were found dead in the debris, with proper documentation and panchnamas conducted for them.
The rescue operation resumed on Friday at 6.30 a.m. with four NDRF units, consisting of 100 personnel, alongside 80 Thane Disaster Relief Force personnel and over 460 workers from CIDCO. Local residents from Chowk, Varose, Khopoli villages, various NGOs, and trekker groups also joined forces to assist in the rescue efforts. To enable round-the-clock operations, flood lights were installed. However, the threat of further landslides necessitated the suspension of night-time operations.
Help for survivors
In light of the tragedy, the district administration arranged around 40 containers to provide provisional shelter for survivors. An additional 60 containers are being arranged, with 40 of them already reaching the base of the village to offer immediate refuge. Furthermore, 20 makeshift toilets and 20 makeshift bathrooms have been set up for the survivors.
The difficult terrain, situated atop a hill, posed challenges in transporting modern machinery required for the rescue operations. As a result, much of the work is being done manually.
For those who lost everything in the landslide, the district administration issued bank account details to receive financial support from various organizations, trusts, foundations, corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, and others. The funds will aid in rebuilding the lives of the affected villagers.
Bank Account Details for Financial Support:
District Disaster Response Fund
• Bank Name: State Bank of India, Main Branch, Alibag (State Bank of India, Alibag) • Bank Account Number: 38222872300 • IFSC Code: SBIN0000308