Aurangabad/Mumbai: At least 13 persons died in heavy showers, floods and lightning in parts of Maharashtra with the Marathwada region bearing the brunt of rain fury, while more than 560 people were rescued after the NDRF was mobilised and helicopters were deployed, officials said on Tuesday.
Besides, more than 200 cattle perished or were washed away and a number of houses were damaged in torrential rains that lashed Marathwada on Sunday and Monday, causing havoc in a region which is considered a perennially drought-plagued area, they said.
Parts of the region and Mumbai received heavy showers on Tuesday also.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast 'extremely heavy rains' at a few places in Marathwada, Mumbai and other parts of the coastal Konkan region of Maharashtra in the next 24 hours.
The Marathwada region in central Maharashtra which faced rain fury comprises eight districts - Aurangabad, Latur, Osmanabad, Parbhani, Nanded, Beed, Jalna and Hingoli.
Heavy rainfall in catchment areas of the Manjara dam forced authorities to open all 18 gates of the reservoir to discharge water on Tuesday, which led to flooding in some villages in Beed district, while an alert was sounded in some neighbouring districts, the officials said.
The local administration opened all 18 gates of the Manjara dam and 11 gates of the Majalgaon dam, resulting in discharge of 78,397 cusec 80,534 cusec water from them, respectively, they said.
An official from the disaster management department said in Mumbai that 13 people have died due to heavy rains and lightning in parts of Maharashtra, while 136 others have received injuries.
Of these 13 deaths, 12 were reported from Marathwada and Vidarbha regions and one from North Maharashtra's Nashik district, the official said.
Of the 12 deaths, three were reported from Yavatmal district (in Vidarbha where a bus was swept away), two each from Beed, Osmanabad, Parbhani (Marathwada) and one each from Jalna, Latur (Marathwada) and Buldhana (Vidarbha) , he said.
In Nashik district, a lightning strike killed one person and injured four others, the official said.
Three persons died after a state transport bus was swept away while crossing an inundated bridge in Yavatmal district on Tuesday morning, officials said.
The incident took place around 8 am at Dahagaon bridge in Umarkhed tehsil when the semi-luxury bus of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) was going from Nagpur to Nanded.
The bus got swept away while passing through the bridge which was flooded following heavy rains, and then overturned, an official said.
There were four passengers in the bus besides the driver and conductor, Umarkhed tehsildar Anand Deolgaonkar said.
In a late night release, the Yavatmal district administration said bus passengers Sharad Fulmali (27) and Subramanyam Tokla (48) were rescued.
But three others, Sheikh Salim alias Babu Sheikh Ibrahim (50), a resident of Hyderabad, Indal Mahindre (35), a resident of Pusad in Yavatmal district, and conductor Bhimrao Nagrikar, a native of Nagpur, died and their bodies were recovered, it said.
Bus driver Suresh Surewar was still missing, it said.
With this, 434 people have been killed in rain-related incidents in the state since June 1, the disaster management department official said in Mumbai.
A total of 205 animals, including 60 large milch animals, were washed away or perished in the heavy rains over the last two days.
"With this, the total loss of livestock, including cows, buffaloes and goats, has increased up to 1,632. As many as 91,510 poultry birds are also estimated to be died in heavy rains (both figures since June 1)," the official said.
The heavy rain and flood have damaged crops on several acres of agricultural land in the region, he said.
"Since yesterday (Monday), the Water Resources Department has been monitoring the situation closely. We are trying to minimise the damage," Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil told reporters in Beed.
The administration will provide all possible relief to people, the minister said.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams and choppers were deployed in parts of Marathwada to rescue stranded people. One team of the State Disaster Response Force has also been deployed in Jalgaon district in North Maharashtra, the official said.
A total of 564 people were rescued from rain and flood-hit areas in different districts.
As many as 459 people were rescued from flood-affected areas in the last 48 hours across Osmanabad district and the NDRF deployed a helicopter to reach those stranded in floodwaters, officials said on Tuesday evening.
Six persons, including two children, were rescued by the NDRF by deploying a helicopter at Dautpur village in Osmanabad tehsil, while ten persons were evacuated from Saundane Amba village in Kalamb tehsil.
The Osmanabad-Ausa road was blocked as water was flowing over the Kamegaon-Samudrawani bridge.
The Manjara dam was filled to the capacity which necessitated opening of 18 gates of the dam, an official said.
Twenty persons were rescued from a house in Wakadwadi village of Kalamb tehsil. Some 125 persons were rescued in Ramwadi, 114 in Irla, 35 each in Ter and Borkheda and 90 in Dautpur, the official said.
Two teams of NDRF participated in the rescue operations.
The collector of neighbouring Latur district, Prithviraj B P, told PTI that a family of three, including a child, was reportedly stranded at Pohregaon in Renapur tehsil of the district, but rescue teams could not reach the spot due to the bad weather and low visibility.
"We are trying other ways to rescue them. The helicopter (used by the NDRF) has halted in Latur. It will fly tomorrow morning (Wednesday) to rescue them," he said.
A total of 77 people trapped in two villages in Beed district amid heavy rains were rescued, officials said.
"Nineteen people in Aapegaon village and 58 people in Devla trapped in farms and homes were rescued on Tuesday," Umesh Shirke, District Disaster Management Officer said.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra minister Dhananjay Munde reviewed the situation in the region and interacted with farmers in Amabajogai taluka.
An NDRF team, a helicopter and boats were deployed to rescue people stranded in barrages, villages and on the banks of a river in Latur district, which was lashed by heavy rains through the day.
While 25 out of 40 people stranded on the banks of Manjara river at Sarsa village have been rescued using boats, efforts were on to get the rest 15 to safety, an official said.
He added that three people stranded on a river basin in Digol Deshmukh area in Renapur tehsil have been also rescued.
Three employees of the state Irrigation Department were stuck in the Ghansargaon village barrage, and an NDRF team as well as a helicopter have been brought in help local personnel with the rescue effort, said District Disaster Management Officer Sakeb Usmani.
Heavy rains also lashed Mumbai and suburbs, but no major water-logging is reported so far and public transport services, including suburban trains, also remained unaffected, officials said.
A civic official said no incident of a major water-logging was reported despite heavy showers in Mumbai. Public transport services are also running normally, he added.
"Local and long-distance trains from Mumbai are running as per time table," Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer, Central Railway said.
Meanwhile, Water Resources Minister Patil said it is the government's duty to provide relief to farmers and it will do so.
He made the comments at Ambajogai in Beed district while consoling a farmer, whose crops have been damaged in rains.
Patil is on a Marathwada tour as part of his party NCP's "Ratrashwadi Parivar Samvad Yatra" and during the tour, he reviewed the flood situation in Beed district and interacted with farmers.
While Patil was holding a meeting with party activists at Ambajogai, an elderly farmer along with his grandson came to see him.
The farmer was carrying a bunch of damaged soybean crop that was damaged due to heavy rains in Marathwada.
After listening to his plight, Patil consoled him.
"Don't worry, the government is with you," Patil told the farmer and added an assessment of crop damage has been ordered.
"Extremely heavy rains" are expected at a few places in Marathwada, Mumbai and other parts of Konkan in the next 24 hours, the IMD said in Mumbai on Tuesday evening.
K S Hosalikar, senior scientist at IMD Mumbai, said, "The remnants of Gulab cyclone will continue to have its impact on Marathwada, Madhya Maharashtra, Konkan with few places receiving extremely heavy rainfall.
"The northern parts of Konkan and Madhya Maharashtra will receive more showers on Wednesday as well," he said.
"Extremely heavy rainfall" means precipitation of more than 204.5 mm in 24 hours.
"There is low pressure area of Gulab cyclone now. As it is moving towards Arabian sea, its effect on Maharashtra will decrease from Thursday," he said.