Heavy rain batters Solapur, Pune and Sangli; 27 dead, over 20,000 evacuated

As many as 28 deaths were reported in rain-related incidents in Solapur, Pune and Sangli districts from Wednesday till Thursday afternoon, said Pune Division officials.

Twenty seven people died in various rain-related incidents in three western Maharashtra districts — Solapur, Pune and Sangli — as heavy rain caused by a deep depression battered various parts of the state from Wednesday afternoon, leading to widespread flooding. Over 20,000 people had to be evacuated to safer locations in these three districts following incidents of flooding.

As predicted by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), most parts of Maharashtra started receiving heavy rain from Wednesday because of a strong low-pressure system in the Bay of Bengal, which further intensified into a deep depression as it traversed across the land, moving towards the Arabian sea.

As many as 27 deaths were reported in rain-related incidents in Solapur, Pune and Sangli districts from Wednesday till Thursday afternoon, said Pune Division officials. While 14 persons were killed in Solapur district, including six in a wall collapse incident in the temple town of Pandharpur, four persons died in Pune and nine in Sangli district respectively, said officials.

The wall collapse incident was reported from Kumbharghat area, located on the banks of Bhima river in Pandharpur, on Wednesday afternoon. Six of the four deceased belonged to the same family. An inquiry has been launched by the district administration into the incident.

In Daund taluka of Pune district, four persons were swept away while trying to cross a swollen stream, which was overflowing, on Wednesday night. Police officials said four persons on two bikes were trying to cross the overflowing stream on a road near Rajegaon Khanota village near Daund town, around 80 km from Pune.

“Four persons were swept away while crossing the stream around 10 pm on Wednesday. Bodies of three persons have been recovered. Search for the fourth person is on,” said Inspector Sunil Mahadik of Daund police station.

Police have identified the deceased as Shahaji Lokhande (52), Appasaheb Dhaytonde (55) and his wife Kalavati (48). The fourth person, Subhash Narayan Lokhande (48) is still reported missing and a search is being conducted by the police teams with the help of local villagers.

The fifth death in Pune district was reported from Haveli taluka.

As many as 20,640 persons were evacuated by respective local district administrations and rescue agencies from flooded areas in Solapur, Pune and Sangli. In Solapur district, which was the worst-hit, 17,000 people were evacuated, while in Pune and Sangli districts, 3,000 and 640 people, respectively, had to be shifted to safer places, said officials from Pune Division.

Many parts of Pune district, including urban areas in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, reported waterlogging and flooding from Wednesday night. According to fire brigades of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad civic bodies, at least 60 incidents of water logging in residential areas, roads and houses and around 20 incidents of tree collapse were reported across the two urban areas.

The 5th Battalion of the National Disaster Response Force, headquartered near Talegaon in Pune, has deployed a total of four teams — two teams in Solapur, one team in Pandharpur town and another team in Baramati town in Pune district. The battalion has also sent two teams for relief work in Karnataka, said officials.

Power supply in many parts of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad was snapped after over 300 transformers malfunctioned due to rain-related causes. Power supply from over 95 per cent of these transformers was restored by Thursday morning, said officials from the Maharashtra Electricity Distribution Company Ltd.

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