Solapur, western Maharashtra reel under onslaught of retreating monsoon

Relentless overnight rain led to massive property damage in Solapur and Pune districts, with thousands of villagers marooned by rising floodwaters in rural Solapur.

Western Maharashtra and parts of the Marathwada region continued to reel under the onslaught of the retreating monsoon, with Solapur district the worst-hit in the region.

Two teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) stationed in Pune’s Maval Taluk have been urgently deployed for rescue and rehabilitation efforts. While one team has entered the temple-town in Pandharpur in Solapur district, another has been pressed into action in Latur in Marathwada.

Relentless overnight rain led to massive property damage in Solapur and Pune districts, with thousands of villagers marooned by rising floodwaters in rural Solapur.

Rising levels of the Sina River have afflicted residents in at least 100 villages in Madha and Mohol taluks in Solapur, with several livestock being washed away by the floodwaters.

1,000 evacuated

According to the Solapur district administration, at least 1,000 people were evacuated from Pandharpur on Wednesday night while another 6,000 from 500 families are to be shifted to safer zones on Thursday. Authorities of the Vitthal-Rukmini temple trust said that it would take the responsibility of feeding and lodging those evacuated from their homes.

A massive discharge of two lakh cusecs of water commenced from the Ujjani dam since 10 p.m. Wednesday night. With rain providing a temporary reprieve to Solapur on Thursday morning, the discharge has been reduced to one lakh cusecs currently.

The rains have compelled authorities to shut traffic on the Pune-Solapur road, as well as roads connecting Solapur to other districts such as Bijapur in neighbouring Karnataka.

Rising river waters

Intense and continuous showers saw an alarming rise in the water levels of all major rivers in western Maharashtra: the Panchganga in Kolhapur rose by seven ft. owing to massive rainfall throughout Wednesday night, while the Krishna River level in Sangli has risen by five ft in just three hours.

All main roads in Sangli have been closed for traffic as a precautionary measure.

In Pune, overnight showers caused considerable damage to property in the city with furious rainwaters mangling scores of two-wheelers parked in the open.

Four persons on two motorcycles were swept away by the floodwaters in Daund taluk in rural Pune. The bodies of three, including one woman, have been found and the search for the fourth was on.

In Baramati in rural Pune, a flood-like situation prevails as several residents have moved out of their homes to higher grounds for safety.

The rains have led the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) to postpone the final year examinations scheduled on Thursday.

As per a notification put up on its website, SPPU authorities said that it was postponing the varsity’s online and offline exams that were slated on Thursday given the flood-like situation caused by heavy rains experienced on October 14 and the fact that the civic administration had issued a cyclone and heavy rainfall alert for Thursday.

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