Flood in India on August 09 2019 03:45 AM (UTC).
Heavy rainfall in four districts of western Maharashtra has claimed 30 lives so far. For the past week, the districts of Pune, Kolhapur, Sangli, and Satara have been battered by incessant rain and severe flooding, and the situation is likely to get worse with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasting another two to three days of heavy downpours. Stepping in with rescue and relief measures, the State government, with the help of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the defense forces, has evacuated approximately 2.5 lakh people from the affected districts. According to the State government and the IMD, a depression in the Bay of Bengal off the Odisha coast resulted in torrential rainfall across various central Indian States, including Maharashtra. The IMD has issued red alerts for Pune, Palghar, Raigad, Satara, Nashik, Kolhapur, and Thane districts and said the rain was not expected to let up. "The system is a slow-moving one, which is taking time to move across the country. This means the depression will continue for a few more days," the IMD said. State government reports said the Krishna and Bhima river basins received rainfall 300 percent above the average for this time of the year. Of the 38 dams in the region, 32 are full, which is a major cause of the floods in Kolhapur and Sangli. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's office says the amount of rainfall received in the first week of August is the total of what those districts receive until October when the rains stop. Fadnavis has requested neighboring Karnataka to release water from the Almatti Dam on the Krishna River in North Karnataka to help the situation in Kolhapur and Sangli. The weather conditions have forced the closure of the Mumbai-Pune railway line for the past three days. Eyewitness accounts said the tracks were flooded and there was a possibility of landslides. Official reports said at least 342 bridges had gone underwater. Many of the State highways were closed for traffic, among them the Mumbai-Bengaluru National Highway Number four, the Kolhapur-Ratnagiri highway and the Kolhapur-Belgavi highway. As a preventive measure power supply has been cut in most parts of the districts. Farmer leader Raju Shetti, who is from Kolhapur and is stranded in the city, told the media that the death toll could be higher. He said that while Fadnavis activated rescue efforts, the devastation was so vast that rescue teams were finding it difficult to reach some areas. He said that if the IMD was aware of the weather situation, alerts should have gone out much earlier. Photographs of the floods taken by local people and the media were similar to those seen last year during the Kerala floods and the Mumbai deluge. "The rains have battered our farms. As it is our agriculture is in a bad way. After these rains I don't know what our condition will be," said Ramesh Atmaram Patil, a sugar cane farmer from Satara.