India: Death rises to 70 as flood hits many districts
The death toll in five districts of western Maharashtra including the worst-hit Kolhapur and Sangli reached 70 on Friday.
The region is being pummeled by rain over the last few days, and major rivers including the Krishna and Panchaganga are heavily flooded.
Divisional commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said that flood waters had begun to recede in Kolhapur and Sangli.
“In Kolhapur, the water level has decreased by two feet and in Sangli, it has decreased by 3 inches,” he said.
Two helicopters started dropping relief material in flood-hit regions on Friday, Mhaisekar said.
“Still, connectivity is a major concern. We are hopeful that by tomorrow evening there will be connectivity in the region. It depends on the rainfall,” he added.
A total of 28 villages in Sangli and 18 villages in Kolhapur are completely surrounded by water and the only mode of reaching them is by boats, Mhaisekar told.
A total of 1,34,119 and 1,11,365 people have been evacuated to temporary camps in Sangli and Kolhapur districts, respectively.
In Satara district 9,521 people have been evacuated, 6,819 in Pune and 23,437 in Solapur.
The government has decided to distribute compensation to flood victims immediately, Mhaisekar said.
“We have received Rs76 crore from the government. In cities, Rs15,000 will be given per family and in rural areas Rs10,000,” he said.
“The NH 4 is still shut for traffic and some 18,000 vehicles are stranded on the highway. Once it is opened, priority will be given to the trucks carrying essential things such as petrol, diesel, LPG and we have already brought such trucks forward,” Mhaisekar said.