13 dead as rains batter Pune, 1000 cattle dead, hundreds of vehicles washed away
At least thirteen people were killed in Maharashtra’s Pune after very heavy rains lashed the city overnight on Thursday. More than 1000 cattle, including 25 cows, were found dead and hundreds of vehicles washed away as disaster rescue teams were pushed into service and schools shut after the havoc caused by rains.
The city was caught unawares and the residents said that water collected so fast that there wasn’t much they could do. The the weather office had predicted moderate rain in Pune and parts of central Maharashtra in its daily forecast on Wednesday. But the forecast for the next two days warns of heavy rains.
In the rains that started at 8 pm Wednesday and battered the city till 11.45 pm, the region recorded more than 100 mm rainfall. Thousands were stranded as the downpour submerged many areas and muddy water entered homes. More than 1500 people were rescued by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
According to police and district administration, eight out of 13 were killed in city while five died in Khed Shivapur village near Pune. Four persons, including two from the city and two from Purandar village are still missing. Heavy waterlogging was reported from Ambil Odha area of Sahakarnagar and surrounding areas.
“The police and NDRF teams have been searching two persons reported missing in Purandar village,” said Pune superintendent of police Sandip Patil.
Among the eight died in Pune, five lost their lives due to wall collapse while three others swept away in gushing water from Ambil Odha, a stream which carries water overflowing from Katraj Lake.
The deceased have been identified as Rohit Amle, 15; Santosh Kadam, 55; Janhavi Sadavar, 32; Sritej Sadavar, 8; Lakshmi Pawar, 69; Jyotsna Rane, 35; Dattatray Girme, 52; Amruta Sudame, 37.
A large number of vehicles - with area residents estimating as high as 2,000 - were found submerged in the water-logged areas of Sahakarnagar, Bibvewai and Dandekar Bridge in south-west Pune. Many cars were seen overturned and some washed away long distance from where they were parked.
Over 100 cattle also died during the rain, said local residents. Nearly 25 cows of the Shree Dugdhalay Dairy farms in Sahakarnagar were found washed away in the heavy flow of. “There is not a single cow left in our cowshed. All of them have drowned away and died. The water came so fast that we couldn’t do anything to rescue them,” said Amit Aurange owner of the Dairy farm which is located behind the Gajana Maharaj Math Chowk in Sahakarnagar area.
Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram declared a holiday for schools but the message had not reached many schools and parents and children were seen boarding school buses in various localities. The heavy rains and waterlogging also resulted in the collapse of the retaining wall of the Ambil Odha nala and water started spreading out in many housing societies in the Sahakarnagar area.