Pune Rains: Teen goes back to rescue pet but house collapses on him
Pune citizens narrate their ordeal after two days of extreme rain, waterlogging, road cave-ins and landslides
Pune: Kaushal Gimre heard his dad's voice for the last time at 10pm on Wednesday night as the 52-year-old real estate businessman was driving home. Dattatray Gimre's car along with him was washed away in the surprise floods. Nisha Waikar, too, was hoping to get back on her two-wheeler to her two children at home around the same time.
Her body was found eight hours later. Pune and its surroundings areas spent a horror 48 hours after heavy rain left at least 14 people dead, with nine others and around 40 animals still missing.
There was waterlogging and landslides reported at several locations in the city. Heavy rain in the catchment areas too led to the dam floodgates being opened, making the situation worse for city-dwellers dealing with an unusually heavy monsoon.
One of the people who lost their lives near the Ambil canal area was 14-year-old Rohit Ambale. His maternal uncle Tejas Anawarkar told mid-day that Rohit had lost his mother years ago and he stayed with his joint family. "When we began leaving home in search of a safer place around 10 pm, I was holding Rohit's and my mother's hand. That's when Rohit asked me about our pet dog and I told him that I will check on the puppy later. But Rohit forcefully left my hand and went back to get the puppy. Before he could come out, our house wall collapsed and we lost Rohit along with some more of my relatives," Anawarkar narrated.
A 10-month-old child was another one affected in the Parvati area. The baby was put into a bathtub over the flooded waters while five people were rescued by a team of fire brigade with help from a local reporter. The entire ground floor of a bungalow was under 12 feet of water when the fire brigade officials decided to swim across and rescue the baby by putting it into a bathtub that smoothly floated across to a safer place.
In the Tangewala colony in Sahakar nagar, a part of the ground swept off washing away six people early Wednesday morning. Fire brigade and NDRF teams managed to fish out five of them and recovered the body of the sixth person on Thursday morning.
Waterlogged roads, damaged vehicles and dead animals made for a gory sight across Pune on Thursday. Pics/courtesy: Twitter
Sanjay Shinde, a resident of Tangewala colony in Sahakar nagar recalled, "We face waterlogging up to two feet every monsoon but Wednesday was different. Around 8.30 pm, we noticed that water had risen beyond three feet. We immediately alerted our neighbours and decided to move out. The water had almost risen up to five feet by the time we left and we had to jump roofs. That's when we saw one wall collapsed right in front of us and some of our neighbours flowing away."
Rescue efforts on
Major incidents of waterlogging were reported from Sinhagad Road, Dhankawadi, Balajinagar, Ambegaon, Sahakar Nagar, Parvati, Kolhewadi and Kirkatwadi. The heavy rains also led to a landslide in the Katraj ghat area with the Pune Police urging people to not travel towards Satara and Kolhapur.
A partial cement road also collapsed owing to the heavy flow of a water stream underneath it on the Saswad road.
Teams of fire brigade, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Indian Army rushed to the spot with around 16,000 people rescued and shifted to safer places. Electricity too was cut off from some places in the city and schools and colleges were given holidays.
Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said that apart from loss to human life and property, around 841 pet animals had died in the floods. "Five separate rescue teams have been formed. All the dams in Pune are full after around 22 years with 180 per cent rainfall reported this year," Ram said. Of the 14 people killed, six died in Pune city, six in Haveli area and two in Purandar. The rainfall has affected five talukas of total 15 in Pune district, the collector's office said.
Five roads have been closed on an immediate basis owing to landslide fears and enforcement agencies have been deployed. "An additional 275 army personnel have been deployed for assistance. I also appeal to political parties not to misuse the incident for political gains," the collector urged.
NDRF, police and fire brigade at work
"We have deployed a team in Pune as well in Baramati tehsil to provide all necessary assistance in the affected areas," added an NDRF official, adding, "Five people sleeping in a dargah at Khed-Shivapur village on the Mumbai-Bengaluru National Highway, were swept away after the heavy downpour."
Pune rural police superintendent Sandip Patil said that "a nine-year-old boy was among the ones killed in an incident of wall collapse in the flooded Aranyeshwar area."
"A 52-year-old man was found in a car washed away near Sinhagad road. Another person was found dead in his car near Katraj while two others were washed away in the Parvati area," chief fire officer Prashant Ranpise informed, adding that water was released from the Nazare dam built on the Karha river near Jejuri.
A team of the Indian Army also rescued another 300 people from the Solapur road area, a defence spokesperson said.
Pune Municipal Corporation Mayor Mukta Tilak said, "Our officers have inspected the area. An expert will be carrying out a panchanama and compensation will then be granted to the families of the deceased."
Some more rain expected
PMC Commissioner Saurabh Rao at a spot meeting with his officials
IMD has predicted moderate rain with some intense spells in the next 24 hours. IMD Pune's Dr Anupam Kashyapi said, "The city has seen around 87 mm rainfall between September 24 and 25 and around 53 mm rain between September 25 and 26. The intense spells were a result of high relative humidity."
The ones who didn't make it back home
For 52-year-old real estate businessman Dattatray Gimre, the drive back home on Wednesday turned out to be his last one. Gimre and his Honda City car were swept away in the flood. His body was recovered by an NDRF team on Thursday. Gimre's son Kaushal, said, "When dad didn't return till late evening, I called him around 10 pm. He said he was stuck in traffic and should be home in 15 minutes. It was my last communication with him."
Amruta Anand Sudame
Amruta Anand Sudame, another resident of Nanded City and mother of two, the bike ride home turned fatal. Her sister Nisha Waikar said, "My sister left office at 10 pm assuming the rain would reduce by then. Worrying for her children alone at home, she decided to return on her two-wheeler but never turned up. We lodged a police complaint and found her body after eight hours."
No. of people reported missing
Animals reported missing
No. of pet animals killed in the floods
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