Heavy rain in the state of Maharashtra in India has caused severe flooding and landslides over the last 2 days. A massive search operation is continuing in Raigad district where a landslide buried a number of homes, causing multiple fatalities.

Landslide in Raigad district, Maharashtra, India, 20 July 2023. Photo: Government of Raigad

Heavy rain has been falling in Maharashtra over the last few days, with areas of Raigad district seeing some of the worst of the effects. The district recorded 198.6 mm of rain in 24 hours to 20 July 2023. The Savitri River has exceeded the danger mark in Mahad, standing at 6.55 metres as of 20 July (danger level is 6.5 metres).

The heavy rain in Raigad district triggered a massive landslide in the village of Irshalwadi, burying as many as 40 homes, the district collector said. Emergency teams have been searching through the debris throughout the day. Almost 100 people have been rescued from the site. As of late (local time) 20 July, 12 bodies had been located. Adding to the tragedy, one of the rescue workers suffered a cardiac arrest and died at the rescue site.

Officials said almost 500 mm of rain has fallen in the area in the last 3 days. A team of over 500 are working in the area. Continued heavy rainfall has caused difficulties for the rescue and relief operation. Two India Air Force helicopters have been kept on stand-by to assist in the operation but have not been able to fly due to weather conditions.

Eknath Sambhaji Shinde, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, visited the affected area on 20 July.

Wide areas of India have seen high levels of monsoon rainfall during the first parts of July this year. According to figures from India’s Ministry of Home Affairs, in a period from 10 July to 19 July 2023, at least 125 people have died in floods, 12 in landslides, and 55 in other rain-related incidents. A further 9 people have died as a result of lightning strikes. Around 1,557 homes have been completely destroyed in the severe weather, including around 500 in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

Log in

Don't have an account yet? Sign up