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36 dead in India’s rain-hit Maharashtra landslides

Thirty-six people have died in landslides in Maharashtra’s Raigad district as incessant rain continued to batter the Konkan region of the state, leaving thousands stranded in floods and landslides, reports NDTV.

Helicopters are being used to evacuate people from the flood-hit regions in Raigad, about 70 km from Mumbai.

Authorities have appealed to those trapped to go to the rooftops or on heights from where the rescue teams in the helicopters can spot and evacuate them. Maharashtra is witnessing the heaviest rain in July in 40 years.

The deaths happened in three landslides which took place yesterday, with 32 bodies being found in one spot and four others in another location. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who took stock of the situation in Maharashtra, spoke with local authorities on Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed anguish over the “loss of lives” due to the landslide. PM Modi said the situation in Maharashtra due to heavy rains “is being closely monitored and assistance is being provided to the affected”.

In parts of the coastal town of Chiplun in neighbouring Ratnagiri district, around 250 km from Mumbai, water levels rose as high as 12 feet following 24 hours of uninterrupted rain that caused the Vashishti river to overflow, submerging roads and homes. Power supply has been snapped in the town and phone connections are patchy. A dedicated Covid hospital was surrounded by flood waters and patients were seen being rescued in boats.