Rains wreak havoc in Maharashtra, north India; situation grim in Assam, Bihar

Death toll in Assam floods touches 81, IMD issues red alert for Mumbai, Thane and Palghar for Sunday; all 1,050 passengers onboard stranded Mahalaxmi Express rescued in Maharashtra on Saturday

Millions of people have been displaced and hundreds killed by the floods and rains in Assam, Bihar and other parts of the country.
Millions of people have been displaced and hundreds killed by the floods and rains in Assam, Bihar and other parts of the country.


Heavy rains caused flash floods in Maharashtra's Thane district, where hundreds of marooned people were rescued from a train and other places, while the situation remained grim in Assam and Bihar with the deluge claiming 214 lives this monsoon season.

Rains also lashed Rajasthan where 13 people have died in related incidents since the last two days. One girl was killed in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh in roof collapse after a heavy downpour.

An elderly woman was killed in Jammu and Kashmir, which was lashed by intermittent rains. The Amarnath yatra was also disrupted by the rains as only 3,124 pilgrims visited the cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas. The national capital received 5.25 mm rainfall, according to the Safdarjung Observatory, and the maximum and minimum temperatures settled at 32.5 and 25.4 degrees Celsius.

The Met department has forecast cloudy skies for Sunday with light to moderate rain and thundershowers in the city.

In Maharashtra, all 1,050 passengers on board Kolhapur-bound Mahalaxmi Express were rescued on Saturday in a multi-agency operation nearly 17 hours after the train was stranded near Vangani in Thane district due to flooding on tracks following heavy rains.

Central Railway (CR) officials said all the passengers, including nine pregnant women, were rescued by 3 pm.

Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Navy, Air Force, Army, Railways and state administration were pressed in to rescue the passengers.

Naval teams reached the site with specialist divers.

Two Mi-17 helicopters of the Indian Air Force were also pressed into service to assist them in the rescue operation, the statement said, adding two columns of Army along with 130 trained staff, food packages, water and rescue material were also deployed.

The Indian Air Force also airlifted over 120 people stuck in different parts of the district, an official said.

While at least 70 people were stranded on the terrace of a petrol pump in Badlapur town, around 65 km from Mumbai, another 45 people were stuck at a private resort in Shahad, a state disaster control room official said.

While Thane city recorded 160 mm rainfall till 8 am on Saturday, Murbad tehsil recorded 332 mm, while Kalyan, Ulhasnagar and Amberanth recorded over 200 mm of rainfall each, the district collector's office said.

The Mumbai-Goa national highway has been shut for traffic since Saturday morning due to flood in the Jagbudi river in coastal Ratnagiri district.

The downpour led to cancellation of 11 flights and diversion of nine incoming aircraft to nearby airports on Saturday.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for Mumbai, Thane and Palghar, Raigad for Sunday.

The toll in Assam floods touched 81 on Saturday with the death of one more person in Barpeta district, as water re-entered Sonitpur district bordering Arunachal Pradesh, an official report said.

The situation in the other 17 flood-affected districts remained unchanged, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said. A total of 1,716 villages in 56 revenue circles of the state are inundated.

The number of people affected by the floods in Bihar exceeded 85 lakh even as no fresh casualty has been reported since Friday evening, state disaster management department said. Sitamarhi and Madhubani remain the worst affected districts with 37 and 30 deaths respectively and together accounting for more than 30 lakh of people hit by the calamity, the release said.

According to a release issued by the department, 85.60 lakh people, spread across villages falling under 1,253 Panchayats of 111 blocks in 13 districts, are affected by floods which have so far claimed 127 lives.

Intermittent rains lashed many parts of Jammu and Kashmir for the third consecutive day, disrupting traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway.

An 82-year-old woman was killed and her son seriously injured when a rain-triggered landslide hit their mud house in Doda district, police said. Over two dozen sheep were also killed in the incident.

The weatherman has issued an alert, predicting adverse weather to continue for the next 24 hours.

Officials said intermittent rains during the day left the tracks slippery, forcing suspension of the Amarnath yatra from Baltal route for the second day on Saturday, while a limited number of pilgrims were allowed along Pahalgam route to avoid any untoward incident.

The neighbouring state of Himachal Pradesh was also lashed by heavy rains, with Paonta Sahib recording the highest 125 mm rainfall since Friday evening.

Tourist spots of Shimla, Dharamshala and Manali received rainfall of 99.88 mm, 94 mm and 42.3 mm, respectively.

Jaipur and Kota in Rajasthan received 38.8 mm and 31.4 mm rains till this evening, according to Met department.

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