Rains Claim 48 Lives In Three Days In Maharashtra, Flood Situation Grim In Karnataka
The flood situation in many parts of Karnataka remained grim on Friday due to torrential rains and release of water from major dams, while 48 people have lost their lives in Maharashtra in the last three days due to showers and deluge which have extensively damaged crops on lakhs of hectares.
Of the 48 people who have lost their lives in the last three days, 29 have died in Pune division, 16 in Aurangabad division and three in coastal Konkan, officials said on Friday.
In neighbouring Karnataka, the northern region of the state was the worst affected area which faced floods thrice in as many months. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and assured him of all possible support from the Centre in rescue and relief works that are underway.
The prime minister also spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and assured him of all possible help from the Centre.
Reports said water gushed into food storage warehouses and lentil mills destroying food grains and goods stored there.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said the Centre was aware of the situation in Karnataka.
"The Centre is aware of the prevailing situation. I have just now spoken to the (Union) Home Minister who has assured us of every assistance," he said.
The India Meteorological Department said heavy to very heavy rainfall was also observed at isolated places over Konkan and Goa, Odisha and coastal Andhra Pradesh.
In the eastern part of the country, weather officials said on Friday that a low-pressure area brewing over the Bay of Bengal is likely to cause rains in Kolkata and other parts of West Bengal during the Durga Puja.
The low-pressure area is likely to form around Oct. 19 and be more marked thereafter, they said, adding that though the system is likely to move towards the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh coast, south-westerly wind flow will enhance in West Bengal, resulting in the probability of rain.
In south Bengal, including Kolkata, light to moderate rain is likely to occur till Oct. 20, they said.
In Maharashtra, officials said, over 3,000 houses were damaged in heavy rains and floods in Western Maharashtra where more than 40,000 people were moved to safer places.
Crops such as sugarcane, soybean, vegetables, rice, pomegranate and cotton spread over 87,000 hectares in Pune, Solapur, Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur districts have suffered damage.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar reviewed the flood situation caused due to heavy rains in western Maharashtra and asked the local administration to conduct a 'panchnama' of damaged crops, houses and other properties immediately.
Considering the forecast of the weather department, Pawar asked the administrations of Pune, Solapur, Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur to remain alert.
The Maharashtra government said it will ask the Centre to provide compensation to farmers who have suffered crop damage and lost their source of livelihood due to heavy rains and subsequent floods in parts of the state.
Relief and rehabilitation minister Vijay Wadettiwar said farmers, mostly in districts coming under the Pune division, have suffered huge crop damage in heavy rains on Oct. 14 and 15 caused by a depression in the Bay of Bengal.
Meanwhile, the flood situation in many parts of Karnataka was grim on Friday due to torrential rains and release of water from the major dams in the state. Yediyurappa said Rs 85.5 crore has been released and rescue equipment supplied to the affected districts. Belagavi, Kalaburagi, Raichur, Yadgir, Koppal, Gadag, Dharwad, Bagalkote, Vijayapura and Haveri were the worst hit.
An overflowing river Bhima wreaked havoc in Kalaburagi and Yadgir districts inundating many villages and destroying standing crops. Reports said water had also gushed into food storage warehouses and lentil mills destroying food grains and goods stored there.
"While the average rainfall by the end of September in the state is approximately 800 mm, this year it has reached about 1,000 mm. This trend is across all the four divisions of South Interior, North Interior, Malnad Region and Coastal Karnataka," a KDMA official said.
The KDMA in association with the district authorities have also opened 41 relief camps, including 36 in Kalaburagi alone where 4,864 people have been given shelter.