Indian armed forces have been mobilised to carry out flood relief operations in Maharashtra on Friday as unprecedented rains resulted in heavy flow of water in various rivers, flooding multiple districts in the state.
Presently, the districts of Ratnagiri, Raigad, Pune, Satara, Kolhapur and Sangli have been affected. The Indian Air Force said that at around 1:30 pm on Thursday, they received a message for requirement of flood relief operations in Chiplun and Khed towns of Ratnagiri district.
When the weather permitted, an Mi-17 IV helicopter got airborne from Mumbai for Ratnagiri at 3:40 pm and landed there at 5 pm. Bad weather did not permit any further operations on Thursday evening.
"Operations have resumed today with the helicopter deployed at Ratnagiri along with another one flown in from Mumbai," the force said. An NDRF team of 10 personnel with approximately one-tonne load has also been flown to Ratnagiri by the IAF.
On Friday, a helicopter from Ratnagiri got airborne at 11:35 am and rescued two people before landing back at Ratnagiri. The IAF has also positioned two Mi-17V5s and two Mi-17s for flood relief operations. Another helicopter is on stand-by in Pune for any emergent requirement.
Further, based on a request received from the Maharashtra government, the Western Naval Command of Indian Navy in Mumbai mobilised flood rescue teams and helicopters to provide assistance to the state administration.
Despite adverse weather conditions and widespread inundation in the affected areas, a total of seven naval rescue teams departed by road for deployment in Ratnagiri and Raigarh districts from Mumbai on Thursday.
Airlifting the marooned people from Raigarh district has also been undertaken. One Seaking 42C Helo from INS Shikra departed for rescue operations in Poladpur and Raigad during the early hours of Friday.
"Naval flood rescue teams are fully self-sustained and equipped with Gemini rubber boats, loud hailers, first-aid kits, life jackets and life buoys. These rescue teams also include specialist naval divers," the Indian Navy said.
Additional flood rescue teams are being maintained on a high-degree of readiness in Mumbai for immediate deployment, should the need arise.
In addition to this, the Indian Army, based on requests from the civil administration, has mobilised flood relief and rescue teams to assist the local administration in the flood-affected areas.