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Maha: Ratnagiri inundated after heavy rains, 2 dead in landslide

Maha: Ratnagiri inundated after heavy rains, 2 dead in landslide
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Mumbai: Chiplun, Khed and some other towns in Maharashtra's Ratnagiri were inundated following heavy rains, with inclement weather and incessant downpour creating difficulties for the government agencies to carry out rescue operations in this district located in the Konkan region, a state minister said on Thursday.

An official said that two persons died due to a landslide near Parshuram ghat in the district during the day.

Teams of the Army and Navy are assisting rescue operations in the flood-hit Raigad and Ratnagiri districts of the coastal Konkan region.

An Air Force helicopter too has been made available for rescue operations in Ratnagiri district, said a statement from the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's office.

The chief minister was in constant touch with the local authorities, it said. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Coast Guard, Navy and Army have been deployed in the region and the State Disaster Management Authority has begun rescue and relief operations, it said.

NDRF teams have been sent to western Maharashtra's Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur districts too, the CMO added. Two teams of the force have been deployed in Shirol and Karvir tehsils of Kolhapur, it informed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray about the situation in some parts of the state and assured him of all possible support from the Centre.

Nearly 6,000 passengers were stranded as train services on the Konkan Railway route in Maharashtra's Ratnagiri district were suspended on Thursday after a river overflowed following heavy rains, while incessant downpour badly hit road and rail traffic in several parts of the state.

"Spoke to Maharashtra CM Shri Uddhav Thackeray and discussed the situation in parts of Maharashtra in the wake of heavy rainfall and flooding. Assured all possible support from the Centre to mitigate the situation. Praying for everyone's safety and well-being. @OfficeofUT," Modi said in a tweet.

Major rivers in Ratnagiri district, including Jagbudi, Vashishti, Kodavali, Shastri, Bav have been flowing above the danger level following heavy rains. As a result of this, Khed, Chiplun, Lanja, Rajapur, Sangameshwar towns and nearby areas have been affected and the government agencies are engaged in the task of shifting local residents to safer places, the Maharashtra Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said earlier.

Talking to PTI over phone, Transport Minister Anil Parab, who is the district guardian minister of Ratnagiri, said that road connectivity in parts of the district has been completely snapped due to heavy rains.

"Chiplun town is completely inundated. Similar situation prevails in Khed. There is difficulty in reaching these places since all roads are closed. Rescue teams from municipality, Coast Guard, Customs are using their boats to shift people from the low- lying areas. We have opened marriage halls, school buildings so that the evacuated people can spend their night there," he said.

Parab, who is in Ratnagiri to monitor the rescue and relief operations, said that National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams are unable to reach the spots due to unfavourable weather conditions.

"The helicopters that are engaged in the operations had to go back. The stranded people will be evacuated to safer places when choppers reach. Till then, we are providing food and water to the affected people, he added.

The minister said that the region has been witnessing continuous rain and the water level of rivers is not showing signs of receding.

Ratnagiri collector told PTI that incessant showers led to an incident landslide in the district, in which two persons were killed.

"The landslide near Parshuram ghat claimed the lives of two persons. A rescue team has reached the spot to assess if there was any more damage. Identification of the victims is being carried out. Heavy rainfall and flooding on the streets have affected the communication in the region," he said.

"The flooding in Chiplun town has not claimed any life so far. But we will be able to assess the damage to life and property only after the water recedes," Patil said.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took a review of the situation in Ratnagiri and Raigad districts by holding a meeting with the officials. During the meeting, he said that the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an alert of heavy rainfall in this region for the next three days.

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