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Tragedy Strikes in Raigad as Landslide Claims 16 Lives, Rescue Operation Temporarily Halted

Raigad: Devastating Landslide Claims 16 Lives and Traps 50 Families

Raigad, Maharashtra 20 July (City Times): – A devastating landslide struck Khalapur’s Irsalvadi village in Raigad district during the night between Wednesday and Thursday, claiming the lives of at least 16 people. The disaster left around 50 families trapped under the debris as heavy rainfall lashed the region.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) immediately initiated search and rescue operations, but the relentless and intense rain coupled with the looming danger of further landslides forced them to suspend the operation. An NDRF official stated that the rescue efforts will recommence at 5:00 am on Friday.

“As a result of continuous heavy rainfall and the threat of landslides, along with the darkness, the NDRF has called off today’s operation,” said the official.

So far, rescuers have recovered 16 bodies and managed to save 21 individuals from the wreckage. Tragically, a rescuer en route to the site suffered a fatal cardiac arrest.

Maharashtra’s Chief Minister, Eknath Shinde, visited the disaster site to assess the situation and coordinate relief efforts. Responding to CM Shinde’s directives, Mumbai’s Civic Body dispatched specialized rescue equipment to Irshalwadi. Three Bobcat-make machines were sent from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s solid waste management department sites at Mahim, Juhu, and Mulund.

State ministers Dada Bhuse and Uday Samant are present at the scene, overseeing the ongoing NDRF relief operations. Despite some successful rescues, numerous individuals remain trapped under the debris, complicating the efforts due to the heavy downpour. Raigad district collector Yogesh Mhase highlighted the challenges faced by rescue teams, stating, “Reaching the location requires a two-hour climb, which poses a significant challenge for us.”

As per latest information, 75 people have been rescued so far, but the fate of many others remains uncertain. Irsalvadi village comprises approximately 50 houses, and unfortunately, 17 of them were buried under the landslide’s destructive force.

The landslide struck between 11:30 pm and 12 am, severely impacting the inhabitants settled near the Morbe Dam in Raigad district.

Uday Samant shared that around 46-50 houses are located in Irsalvadi, and thankfully, 25 people have been safely evacuated despite the continuous heavy rain. Maharashtra’s chief minister, Eknath Shinde, is closely monitoring the situation as rescue efforts continue in full force.

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