Ratnagiri dam breach: Death toll rises to 23, several villagers missing  

Arunima Bajaj  Wednesday 3rd of July 2019 12:12 PM
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This screenshot taken from a video shows water gushing out of the collapsed part of the dam in Ratnagiri.

New Delhi: A breach of the Tiware dam in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, washed away several houses following heavy rains, on Tuesday. Twenty-three people have been feared killed in the incident and, so far, 11 bodies were recovered from downstream. Several people are reported missing. Officials fear the number of people missing could increase.

According to the information by Ratnagiri Police, before villagers downstream could be alerted, the dam developed a rupture flooding the villages and hamlets within minutes of developing cracks.

Teams from the National Disaster Response Force, local police, district disaster management cell, fire brigade along with local villagers are searching for missing villagers.

The affected villages are Daadar, Akle, Riktoli, Ovali, Kalkavne, Nandivase, with an estimated total population of around 3,000, in a hilly region, around 90km from the district headquarters.

Locals claimed the government neglected their pleas for repair of the dam, which was built about 14 years ago. They said the administration was informed about cracks in the walls of the dam, but it took no action.

Girish Mahajan, Maharashtra’s water resources minister, said villagers in the area had complained of cracks in the dam. The state government will find out at which level there was negligence and necessary action will be taken accordingly.

[This story was updated at 5.12pm, Tuesday, July 3, 2019.]




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