Mumbai: 5 more bodies recovered, boat capsize toll 17

Mumbai: With the recovery of five more bodies, the death toll in the boat capsize tragedy in Sangli has gone up to 17, even as over four lakh people have so far been been evacuated from flood-affected parts of Maharashtra, officials said on Sunday.

More than five lakh cusec of water is being discharged from Almatti dam on the Krishna river in Karnataka to ease the flood situation in western Maharashtra.

Over 40 people have been killed in rain-related incidents in five districts of western Maharashtra in the last one week, including 17 who drowned when a boat capsized near Brahmanal village in Sangli on Thursday.

“So far, 17 bodies have been recovered following the boat tragedy. Water has started receding in some areas of Sangli,” a district administration official said.

On Thursday, nine people drowned and as many others went missing when the boat capsized during a rescue operation. Three more bodies were recovered by Saturday and five more were found till Sunday, taking the toll in the incident to 17, he said.

Heavy rains pounded Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Thane, Pune, Nashik, Palghar, Ratnagiri, Raigad and Sindhudurg districts in the state in the last one week.

In some areas of Kolhapur, food packets were being dropped by helicopters as the connecting roads there were still water-logged, he said. "The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 29 teams, the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF)-3, Coast Guard-16, Navy-41 and Army-21 in these 10 districts. They are rescuing people with the help of 211 boats,” he said.

Nearly 369 shelters have been set up for the displaced, he said. A team of 100 private doctors from Thane will soon be going to Sangli and Kolhapur for medical assistance. Apart from medicines, they will carry clothes and blankets for flood vicitms, he said.

An official from the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDCL) said the power meters damaged by floods in Kolhapur and Sangli will be replaced free of cost.

“We have asked people not to switch on any device at their homes if water entered their power meters. The MSEDCL staff will inspect every affected house before restoring the power supply,” he said.

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