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Widespread floods hit central India, roads cut off as rivers overflow in Maharashtra


Heavy rains affecting central India since Wednesday, July 21, 2021, caused rivers to overflow in parts of Maharashtra, causing severe flooding. Severe flooding are also affecting neighboring Telangana, where more than 1 000 people have been evacuated.

One of the worst affected is Maharashtra is Ratnagiri district, particularly the city of Chiplun (population ~25 000) where the Vashisti river overflowed on July 22, releasing massive amounts of water into residential areas.

Many market places, residential and commercial complexes are underwater, The Indian Express reports. 

Electricity and communication lines have been snapped, bridges in and around Chiplun are underwater and it was difficult to establish contact with local residents, said officials. The State Transport bus stand has been completely submerged, with all parked buses underwater.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Coast Guard teams reached the city during the afternoon hours.

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Ratnagiri District Collector B N Patil said many residents evacuated as the river started rising, 'like they do during such situations in monsoon.' 

"So far, 100 stranded citizens have been moved to safer places and the rescue operation is continuing," Patil said. 

"It is true that several residents are still stranded in their homes but we do not know the exact number of those awaiting rescue."

"Residential and commercial buildings up to the first floor have been submerged. At most places, the water is up to five feet but at a few places it is up to seven feet."

Chiplun registered 200 mm (7.8 inches) of rain over the past 24 hours, the highest in the district.

Image credit: TW, Google

Waterlogging and disruption were also reported in the state capital Mumbai. Of the seven lakes that supply drinking water to Mumbai, Modak Sagar started overflowing early Thursday morning and Tansa is almost full, Hindustan Times reports.

Two other lakes, Tulsi and Vehar, began overflowing last week. The rainfall in the catchment areas of the lakes has resulted in the rise in the water stock that will last for 64 days.

Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for Raigad, Ratnagiri, Pune, Satara, and Kolhapur for Thursday while nine other districts, including Mumbai, Palghar, and Thane, are under orange alert.

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Mumbai's Marine Drive experienced high tide amid heavy rainfall. The city has been reeling under heavy showers & waterlogged roads. Navi Mumbai, Thane on Orange alert while Mumbai is on Yellow alert. Meanwhile, incessant rainfall caused waterlogging in several parts of Thane. People were seen walking through knee-deep water in Thane's Bhiwadi area. Many rivers overflowed leading to heavy flooding in Bhiwadi and other areas. Severe waterlogging was also witnessed in Maharashtra’s Nashik. Video courtesy Hindustan Times

Heavy rains and flooding are also affecting the neighboring state of Telangana, where more than a thousand people were evacuated from their homes in the Nirmal district.

In 24 hours to 08:30 LT on Thursday, July 22, areas from Dilawarpur, Narsapur, Bhainsa, Mamda, Sarangapur, Kuntala, etc in the Nirmal district received up to 250 mm (9.8 inches) of rain, with another 150 mm (5.9 inches) in Sarangapur on Thursday afternoon.

IMD issued a red alert for Adilabad, Kumurambheem Asifabad, Mancherial, Jagtial, Nirmal, Nizamabad, Rajanna Sircilla, Kamareddy districts. Orange and yellow alerts are in place for most other districts until Saturday, July 24.

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Featured image credit: Fobos Planet


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