“Dharan futala, dharan futala (The dam has breached, the dam has breached).” Narayan Gaikwad and his household have been having dinner Tuesday night time after they heard the warning that modified their lives. “I ran to the cattle shed and cut the ropes holding the cows. Then, we ran up the slope behind the house. We stayed up there the whole night in the rain,” he says.
With the demise toll within the floods attributable to a breach within the Tiware dam in Ratnagiri’s Chiplun taluk rising to 18, and 5 folks nonetheless lacking, 62-year-old Gaikwad, his spouse, son and grandson have been among the many fortunate ones — they survived.
Learn | Ratnagiri Dam breach toll 18, questions raised about doable negligence
However then, tragedy had struck subsequent door within the Bhendewadi hamlet of Tiware village, barely 100 metres from the dam wall. “Our family was one of the few that survived because our house was on the edge of the flow. When we came back early in the morning, we saw that the houses of our neighbours, the Chavan families, were not there,” he says.
“We have lived with them for generations. Fate wiped out these families from their roots. I don’t know whether to feel lucky that my family survived or mourn the death of people who were like my own,” says Gaikwad.
That was not all. “We also saw that our rice crop on the one-acre farm next to the house had been washed away,” he says.
In Bhendewadi, the deluge washed away 12 of the 17 homes, and a temple — the remaining homes, together with that of Gaikwad, suffered heavy damages. The residents at the moment are being sheltered in a college, a couple of kilometres away.
The dam, which is positioned off the Karad-Chiplun street and had undergone momentary repairs not too long ago, began overflowing Tuesday night following heavy rain.
Additionally learn | Authorities negligence led to breach of Tiware dam: NCP
Round 9.30 pm, part of the wall developed a breach. Quickly, a big portion was utterly demolished by the water, which surrounded at the least six villages or hamlets with a inhabitants of round 3,000 additional downstream, chopping them off.
In response to officers, search operations are nonetheless on to find the lacking. On the college, in the meantime, Ajit Chavan, who misplaced his dad and mom and brother, is struggling to voice his grief. “Ranjit (his brother) went to take the bike and never came back,” he says.
On Thursday, as one of many seven our bodies discovered was introduced for post-mortem on the sub-district hospital at Kamathe close to Chiplun, the folks ready outdoors gathered round. Inside minutes, a person recognized it as that of his youthful brother and broke down.
“It is difficult to see people waiting for news of their loved ones and breaking down as the bodies arrive. I can’t imagine what they might be going through,” says Abaji Shinde, who’s from a neighbouring village and has volunteered to help in rescue operations.
“I think the tough conditions here have made these people resilient, but I hope they have the strength to cope with such great losses,” he says.