INDIA. Mumbai: Four persons, including a driver and a conductor of the bus, reportedly met the watery grave when a passenger bus (MH 14 BT–5018) belonging to the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) swept away on the flooded bridge at Umarkhed tehsil of Yavatmal district, near Nagpur, even as torrential rains battered different parts of the state due to the cyclonic storm “Gulab” in the Bay of Bengal, on Tuesday.
The ill-fated bus which began its journey at about 5.15 am from Nanded reached Umarkhed at 7.30 am. After a brief halt, it began its journey towards Nagpur via the Umarkhed-Digras-Nagpur route. However, it came across heavy waterlogging on the Dahagaon bridge in Umarkhed. Despite this, the driver drove through the flooded water and the bus fell into the swelling nalla.
Soon after the mishap, the Umrkhed Tehsildar Anand Deulgaonkar and police officer Amol Malwe rushed to the spot. Besides, local people also volunteered and managed to rescue two passengers. Subsequently, another person was rescued and taken to the hospital. But he could not survive.
The four persons, including the driver and conductor, were reported missing and were feared drowned in the mishap. They include the driver Satish Surewar (53) and conductor Bhimrao Nagrikar (56) of the ill-fated bus. The Nagpur divisional controller Narendra Belsare told the “Transcontinental Times” that a search for the missing passengers was still on.
In the meanwhile many districts including Jalna, Nanded, Osmanabad, Beed, Parbhani, Latur, and Aurangabad in Marathwada and Buldhana, Akola and other districts in Vidarbha region bore the brunt of the nature’s fury and several areas were inundated. Hordes of people were stranded in different areas submerged in the water. Over 125 people were trapped in Ramwadi in Osmanabad taluka.
In Jalna, the local Kelna river located near Bhokardan city was in spate, Resultantly the Jalna-Jaffarabad highway was submerged in the rising water. Due to this, Jalna city lost its contact with neighboring areas. In Pathri taluka of Parbhani district nearly two lakh cusecs water was discharged from three barrages located on Godavari river to prevent flooding.
Similarly, the flood gates of the Katepurna dam in Akola were opened and the people residing near the banks of the Katepurna river were evacuated to a safer place.
Shubhangi Bhute, Scientist, Regional Meteorological Centre, India Meteorological Department (IMD), Mumbai told that the “Transcontinental Times” that due to the cyclone “Gulab”, four places in Maharashtra received very heavy rainfall and 24 places received heavy rainfall. The Nanded district received over 155 mm rainfall in the 24 hours ended at 8.30 am on Tuesday.
The cyclone was well marked till 11.30 am in Maharashtra on Tuesday. Now it is moving towards Gujarat. Yet Central Maharashtra and some other areas including Palghar near Mumbai will continue to receive heavy rainfall till Wednesday.
The IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall in isolated places in Gujarat, very heavy rainfall at isolated places in Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Northcentral Maharashtra, and North Konkan on Wednesday.
Similarly heavy to very heavy rainfall is very likely at isolated places over Saurashtra in Gujarat. Besides, heavy rainfall at isolated places over Odisha, Gangetic West Bengal, and Gujarat region on Thursday, has been forecast for Thursday.