In a devastating incident that occurred between 10 pm and 11 pm on Wednesday, a total of 13 lifeless bodies have been retrieved, and 21 people have been successfully rescued from a landslide that struck Maharashtra’s Raigad district. The calamity unfolded at Irshalwadi village in Khalapur, Raigad, approximately six kilometers away from Chowk village near Morbe dam, a crucial water supplier for Navi Mumbai.
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Temporary Halt of Rescue Operations by NDRF
On Thursday evening, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) made the difficult decision to suspend the rescue and search operations in light of heavy rainfall and the potential threat of further landslides during the nighttime hours. The NDRF, in consultation with the Local Administration, has officially postponed the rescue efforts until Friday morning.
Ongoing Search for Survivors
As of now, 93 individuals are reported to be alive, while several others remain unaccounted for, adding to the urgency of the rescue mission.
Upcoming Resumption of Operations
Four NDRF teams, along with additional police personnel, will be recommencing their rescue and search endeavors at 6:30 am on Friday. In support of the mission, three additional SPs, four deputy SPs, 15 police officers, and 170 other personnel will also be deployed at the site.
Government’s Efforts and Support
Maharashtra minister Tanaji Sawant expressed the government’s dedication to aiding the victims. Two teams, each equipped with four doctors and 15 support staff, are diligently working to provide assistance and care to those affected by this tragedy.
Extent of Damage and Relief Measures
The landslide hit a tribal hamlet with approximately 46 houses, out of which only five to six structures managed to escape the devastation. Additionally, a school in the area remained undamaged, offering a glimmer of hope amidst the tragedy.
Leadership’s Response and Compensation
In response to the calamity, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde personally visited the site on Thursday to oversee and encourage the rescue operations. He pledged a compensation of ₹5 lakh each to the families of the deceased and assured that the government would bear the treatment costs for the injured survivors.
Red Alert and Call for Assistance
With incessant rain affecting various parts of the state, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a “red alert” for Raigad on both Thursday and Friday, warning residents and authorities to remain vigilant. The district administration has also appealed to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to step forward and collaborate with the NDRF in facilitating the rescue operations.
Challenges in Rescue Operations
The remote location of the incident poses a significant challenge for rescue teams, requiring a two-hour climb to reach the affected area, as mentioned by Raigad district collector Yogesh Mhase.
In conclusion, the tragic landslide incident in Maharashtra’s Raigad district has resulted in significant loss of life and property. Despite facing challenges such as heavy rainfall and treacherous terrains, the government and rescue teams are working tirelessly to save lives and provide support to those affected. With the resumption of operations, hopes remain high for locating more survivors and bringing comfort and relief to the affected families.