Nine dead after rescue boat capsizes in flood-hit Maharashtra
Nine people were killed after a rescue boat overturned in flood-hit Sangli district of Maharashtra on Thursday. Pune divisional commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said the mishap took place near Brahmanal village in Palus tehsil when the private rescue boat was carrying 32 people.
“Nine bodies have been recovered so far, 19 people managed to swim to safety. The panchayat deployed the boat on their own. It was not a part of the rescue detail,” Mhaisekar said.
Police and disaster management personnel were carrying out a search to trace the missing. Brahmanal village is located on the banks of the Krishna river.
Atul Patil, a local who was present at the spot, told a news channel, “The boat was operational for the past 2-3 days. Even this morning it did two rounds. It was overloaded as people were in a state of panic. The fan got stuck in a tree branch.”
Maharashtra is grappling floods that have claimed 16 lives and displaced 1.32 lakh people in the past week. Kolhapur and Sangli districts are the worst affected in the floods with these roads completely cut-off. The two districts have been battered by rain in the last few days.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued “extremely heavy rain” warning for Pune, Satara and Kolhapur districts of Western Maharashtra for Thursday. For Sangli district, the alert is only for light-to-moderate rain, the Met department had said on Wednesday evening.
“Five districts in western Maharashtra are affected by floods and 16 people have lost their lives. The administration had shifted a total of 1.32 lakh people to safer places,” said Dileep Mhaisekar, Pune divisional commissioner. Navy teams reached Kolhapur from Goa to aid with air-lifting affected residents to safety.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis chaired a meeting with his cabinet and collectors from affected districts in Mumbai on Wednesday to review the flood situation. Fadnavis asked the water resources department to regularly share information on discharge from dams with the Railways and for an immediate survey of crop damages in flood-affected areas.
News agency PTI reported that there will be a reduction in rainfall in other parts of Maharashtra on August 10 and on August 11.