Maharashtra Rains: 8,400 shifted in Solapur, 3 die in Pune - How heavy downpour in state wreaked havoc

Over 8,000 people were moved to safer places in rain-hit Solapur district of Maharashtra, while three persons drowned in a swollen stream in Pune and another is missing even as heavy downpour caused water-logging in low-lying areas of Mumbai on Thursday, officials said.

Parts of Maharashtra, including Pune, Mumbai and Solapur, are experiencing heavy showers at a time when the southwest monsoon is generally in the retreating mode.

In the last couple of days, heavy rains have lashed several parts of the state, including Pune, Solapur and Kolhapur.

"Excess water is being released from Ujani Dam into the Nira and Bhima rivers, so as a precaution, around 8,400 people living along river banks in the Pandharpur tehsil have been shifted to safer places," said Sachin Dhole, Sub- Divisional Officer, Solapur.

In Pandharpur town, some 1,650 people were shifted to schools and buildings of religious institutions and are being provided food, Dhole said.

Several roads leading to the temple town were flooded and closed for traffic for some time, he added.

Additional teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been sought for the tehsil, Dhole informed.

NDRF personnel were also deployed in a few villages in Mohol tehsil to evacuate people stranded in floodwaters.

"Around 50 people who were stranded in remote areas of Ghatni and Kharkhatne villages were evacuated by the NDRF," a district official said.

On Wednesday, six people were killed when a wall collapsed in Pandharpur town.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday ordered a probe into the incident, saying a case of culpable homicide be registered against those responsible.

In Pune, four people were swept away in a swollen stream in Khanota village on Wednesday while they were trying to cross the water body on two motorcycles, an official from Daund police station said.

"We recovered three bodies on Thursday morning and search is one for the fourth person," he said.

Several low-lying areas in Pune experienced water- logging on Wednesday night after heavy showers.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune city received 96 mm rainfall on Wednesday.

Traffic on the Pune-Solapur Highway was disrupted for more than an hour on Wednesday evening after parts of the road were flooded due to incessant rains. The vehicular movement later resumed after the water receded.

Besides, Kolhapur received 56 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours, an official from the district disaster cell said.

Mumbai experienced heavy rains overnight along with thunderstorm and lightning, causing water-logging in some low-lying areas, officials said.

Roads in some low-lying areas like Hindmata, King's Circle and Kalachowki were inundated after heavy rainfall during the night.

Public transport services were unaffected and local trains and buses of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), the city civic body's transport wing, were running normal, an official said

The island city received 106.01 mm rain in the 24-hour period ending at 8 am on Thursday, followed by 69.18 mm rain in eastern suburbs and 58.36 mm in western suburbs during the same period, a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), downpour in the range of 64.5 mm and 115.5 mm is considered 'heavy rainfall', while that between 115.6 mm and 204.4 mm is termed 'very heavy rainfall'.

The IMD had earlier issued an 'orange' alert for Mumbai and neighbouring Thane district, predicting heavy to very heavy rain accompanied with thunderstorm and gusty winds on Thursday.

It has issued a 'yellow' alert for Friday, forecasting heavy rain in Mumbai and its suburbs.

Meanwhile, the IMD said low pressure over south-entral Maharashtra and south Konkan is likely to move over the Arabian Sea and intensify into a depression in the next 48 hours.

Under the influence of this cyclonic circulation, heavy rains are expected over the ghat areas of Maharashtra, Konkan and south Gujarat during the next two days, the IMD said.

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