At least 16 killed, 100 rescued after landslide in Maharashtra's Raigad

The landslide was triggered by heavy rainfall as the Khalapur tehsil which received 499 mm rainfall for three days between Monday-Wednesday. 
Last Updated : 20 July 2023, 16:28 IST

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At least 16 persons were killed while around 80 to 100 others are feared trapped following a landslide from a mountain-slope off the tribal village of Irshalwadi in Khalapur tehsil of the Raigad district of coastal Konkan belt of Maharashtra.

The incident of landslide took place between 2230 hrs to 2300 hrs on Wednesday night.

The landslide was triggered by heavy rainfall as the Khalapur tehsil which received 499 mm rainfall for three days between Monday-Wednesday.

The 100-odd survivors include those who either escaped the fury and came down on their own or rescued by different agencies working at the Irshalwadi site,

The landslide-site is below the Irshalgad Fort, which is located between Matheran and Panvel and off the Morbe Dam, more than 60-70 kms away from downtown Mumbai.

Rescuers from the Raigad district administration and police, NDRF and SDRF besides Maharashtra Mountaineers Rescue Coordination Centre (MMRCC) found the weather challenging as they continued the operations amid heavy rainfall and strong winds still Tuesday evening.

The operation will commence at dawn on Friday in search of survivors.

Boulders, mud and slush slid down from one side of the hill and covered the village.

Two helicopters of the armed forces were at stand by but could not take off because of the inclement weather.

The coastal belt is being pounded by heavy rains over the past few days and the IMD-Mumbai has forecast heavy to very heavy rains for till the weekend

“The priority is to save lives,” Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said on Thursday, at the site, where he is overseeing the search and rescue operations and even trekked for nearly two-and-a-half hours to reach the actual site.

Leader of the Opposition in Council Ambadas Danve too went to the site and reviewed the situation.

The Maharashtra government is in touch with Home and Defence ministries in case help is needed - and Shinde spoke to Union Home Minister Amit Shah about the emerging situation.

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the village had 48 families with a population of 288.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has stationed himself in the control room of the Disaster Management Unit of Mantralaya, the state secretariat in Mumbai, overseeing the operations.

“There are issues like accessibility…there is inclement weather, it is a difficult operation,” Shinde said.

Teams from the Maharashtra Mountaineers Rescue Coordination Centre (MMRCC) and local mountaineers too have rushed to the spot.

Three senior ministers - Girish Mahajan, Uday Samant and Dadaji Bhuse were among the first to rush to the spot. In the morning, state Women and Child Development Minister Aditi Tatkare reached the site while Health Minister Dr Tanaji Sawant oversaw the operations in the local hospitals including the MGM Hospital at Panvel, where the serious patients have been admitted.

Raigad district Collector Dr. Yogesh Mhase and Superintendent of Police Somnath Gharge are camping at the site.

Asked about who many are suspected to be trapped, Shinde said: “It is an unfortunate incident. The priority is to save lives. Several of them came down after the incident. It is difficult to say how many more are trapped.”

Published 19 July 2023, 22:41 IST

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