After torrential rains hit Pune and adjoining areas hard on Wednesday, the rains have relented by Thursday morning bringing relief to hassled residents but not before four persons including a woman were washed away in flood waters of a stream in Daund tehsil .
Police officials, who recovered three bodies till Thursday morning, said, the victims were trying to cross a small bridge erected on a stream at Khanote village in Daund tehsil when they were swept away in swollen waters. Officials said a search is on for the fourth person.
By midnight, rains relented completely in most parts of the district but the weather department has predicted more rainfall till Friday due to moisture incursion from depression over the interiors of Karnataka and the system moving into Maharashtra.
Savitribai Phule Pune university has cancelled its final year exam scheduled on Thursday in view of the rains. The airport authorities said the heavy rains last night forced a Chennai-Pune flight to be diverted while a Pune-Bengaluru flight was sent back to the originating airport apart from several other incidents of flight delays.
According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune Shivajinagar received 96 mm rainfall on Wednesday, leaving several roads, housing societies and parking areas inundated while 10 vehicles were washed away in separate incidents in rural parts of the district.
As the rainfall intensified post 6 pm, water gushed into Chandan Nagar police station, flooding documents, files and furniture. In the southern parts of Pune, two incidents of wall collapse were reported from Sahakar Nagar. Last year on September 25, flash floods had killed 26 people and washed away over 1000 vehicles, with Sahakar Nagar being the worst hit.
Several low-lying areas reported water logging apart from power outage seen in most parts of the city though electricity was restored by Thursday morning.
The central fire brigade said that water entered houses in Hadapsar, Kondhwa, Aundh, Bhavani Peth and Nana Peth areas resulting in fire brigade being pressed into service.
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“We received frantic call from residents around 9 pm that water entered the houses following which rescue vans and fire brigade personnel with necessary equipment were sent for the assistance of citizens. The Pune –Solapur traffic highway movement was temporarily closed due to severe water logging creating flood like situation in the area. Meanwhile, as many as 40 persons were rescued safely while 15 others were being rescued from flood affected Nimgaon Ketki village,” said Prashant Ranpise, the fire brigade chief.
Rural parts of Pune district are worst hit
In rural parts of the district, Indapur tehsil was the worst hit as several vehicles in the area were washed away and Pune-Hyderabad national highway had to be closed for traffic after backwater from Ujani dam inundated parts of the road.
“The stretch between Indapur and Bhigwan near Dalas village got flooded. As a preemptive measure, we had halted the traffic for more than one hour though it later opened,” said Abhinav Deshmukh, superintendent of police, Pune Rural.
Several people who were washed away in flash floods along with their vehicles were rescued by locals, said Baramati sub divisional officer (SDO).
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As heavy rains lashed the region, irrigation department officials started releasing water from Ujani dam– located on Pune-Solapur border– into Bhima river that passes through Pandharpur. By Thursday morning, the level of discharge was brought down.
The Solapur district received over 138 mm rainfall during the 36 hours starting Tuesday morning, leading to water logging and flood-like situations as several small and medium streams began overflowing.
Wall collapse at Pandharpur
Earlier on Wednesday, six persons were killed after a wall at an under construction ‘ghat’ on Bhima river collapsed in Pandharpur, officials said.
The 20-feet high wall came down due to continuous heavy rains in the temple town of Solapur. Four among the deceased were identified as Mangesh Abhangrao (35), Radha Abhangrao (50), Gopal Abhangrao (70) and Pillu Jagtap (13). The authorities were trying to ascertain the identities of the other two deceased, officials said.
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