The roads have metamorphosed into mini canals and the boats are the new means of transport in the flooded coastal town of Chiplun in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district, around 250 km from Mumbai.
Compounding matters further, a dedicated Covid hospital is surrounded by flood waters and patients are being rescued in boats.
Maharashtra is witnessing the heaviest rain in July in 40 years. Thirty six people have died in landslides in the Raigad district as incessant rain continued to batter the Konkan region of the state.
Patients from a Covid hospital in Chiplun are being rescued by an NGO – White Army Kolhapur.
“There are ten patients there. We are rescuing the critical patients first. They need oxygen. They are all Covid patients. The ground floor is completely inundated,” said Dr Shubham, a volunteer.
“Our O2 plant is still running so we have managed to avoid casualties. In spite of flood we have managed to keep oxygen plant running,” Dr. Arun Patil said.
Volunteers say they have rescued people but are also rescuing Covid patients.
Capturing the horror of the situation, a video shows a woman desperately hanging on to a tyre and falling into the water just as rescuers are about to reach her.
The waters of the Vaisisthi River had engulfed Chiplun yesterday. A day later, the the slush carried by the water is still around.
Several Ministers have also rushed to Chiplun.
“There is a lot of damage. There is no clarity on deaths yet,” said state minister Uday Samant.
The National Disaster Response Force, Navy and the Coast Guard have all been deployed for rescue operations.
“From yesterday night we have been rescuing people and so far we have rescued 150 people from this area,” Justin Joseph, Assistant Commandant, NDRF.
The weather office has issued red alerts for several regions in the state, indicating that heavy rainfall will continue for the next few days.