According to government estimates, some 100 people remained missing in Maharashtra’s six flood-affected districts, where plenty was submerged or swept away in landslides sparked by torrential rains last week, killing at least 164 people.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) called off rescue efforts at a few landslide sites late Sunday, notably Taliye in Raigad and Ambeghar in Satara, as the chance of discovering more missing persons receded.
After setting off from Pune earlier in the day, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had to cancel his visit to the flood-affected Satara region on Monday because the helicopter he was traveling in, was unable to land owing to severe weather conditions in the afternoon.
According to the state government, 53 people are still missing at three landslide locations in Raigad district. In Ratnagiri, 14 people are still missing, with 4 in Thane and one each in Kolhapur and Sindhudurg.
Additional five landslide areas in the state are being searched for 27 more people. Authorities worry that powerful flood currents have swept away some of the unidentified victims.
Heavy rain has been falling on the country’s western coast since Thursday, with the India Meteorological Department predicting additional rain in the coming days. Due to heavy waterlogging and after parts of the roadways were swept away in certain locations, major state and national highways, including the Mumbai-Goa highway, remained closed on Sunday.
Following the recovery of a few more bodies by the NDRF and armed forces on Sunday, the death toll in eight districts has climbed to 164. Three landslides in Raigad killed 71 people last week, followed by 41 in Satara, 21 in Ratnagiri, seven in Kolhapur, and twelve in Thane.
On Sunday evening, a few thousand additional people were evacuated from Sangli and Kolhapur, bringing the total number of persons evacuated to almost 2,50,000.