Mountain landslide in Maharashtra’s Irshalwadi buries 40 homes, leads to multiple fatalities

Mountain landslide in Maharashtra's Irshalwadi buries 40 homes, leads to multiple fatalities

In the late hours of July 19, 2023, a catastrophic landslide struck Irshalwadi, a tribal village in the Khalapur tehsil of Maharashtra’s Raigad district, claiming the lives of 16 individuals and leaving around 80 to 100 persons feared trapped. The landslide was triggered by three days of intense rainfall.

Following the devastating landslide in Irshalwadi, Maharashtra, late Wednesday, July 19, 2023, rescue and relief operations swung into action. Triggered by an intense rainfall of 499 mm (19.6 inches) spread over three days, the landslide caused large boulders, mud, and slush to slide down the mountain slope, burying nearly 40 homes. Unfortunately, the rescue operations have been hindered by ongoing heavy rainfall in the area, making the task more challenging for the over 500 rescue workers on site.

In the wake of this disaster, the Indian Air Force has kept two helicopters on standby to assist with the rescue operation. However, adverse weather conditions have prevented their deployment.

The Savitri River in Mahad has breached its danger mark of 6.5 m (21.3 feet), standing at 6.55 m (21.4 inches) on July 20. This situation has been exacerbated by the continued rainfall in the Khalapur tehsil, which recorded 198.6 mm (7.8 inches) in the 24-hour period ending on July 20.

It is estimated that between 80 to 100 people remain trapped under the debris following the landslide. So far, rescue workers have managed to save almost 100 people and recover 12 bodies from the site. Tragically, one rescue worker suffered a fatal cardiac arrest at the scene of the disaster.

https://twitter.com/5Ndrf/status/1681842878384074752

The month of July has seen intense monsoon rainfall across large parts of India. Data from India’s Ministry of Home Affairs reports that from July 10 to 19, 2023, at least 125 people lost their lives due to floods, 12 in landslides, and 55 in other rain-related incidents. Additionally, lightning strikes claimed the lives of another 9 individuals. The extreme weather conditions have completely destroyed around 1 557 homes across India, with approximately 500 of these being in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

References:

1 India – 12 Killed in Landslide After Heavy Rain in Maharashtra – FloodList – July 20, 2023

2 At least 16 killed, 100 rescued after landslide in Maharashtra’s Raigad – Deccan Herald – July 20, 2023

Featured image credit: CMO Maharashtra

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