At least 10 persons were killed on Thursday, several towns and villages inundated, and road and rail traffic hit as the retreating rains wreaked havoc in several districts of western Maharashtra and Marathwada, and parts of Mumbai and coastal Konkan region since Wednesday night, officials said.
The worst-hit were Solapur, Kolhpaur, Sangli, Pune, and Satara in western Maharashtra and Latur, Osmanabad and Beed in Marathwada.
Six persons were killed in a wall crash in the pilgrim town of Pandharpur in Solapur district early this morning after heavy overnight rains lashed the region.
A car carrying three persons was washed away in the flood waters in Solapur of whom two were rescued and the third is believed to have drowned, while three others drowned in a flooded area of Pune district.
With a grim weather forecast for the next two-three days, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that all disaster relief agencies, police, fire brigades, and medical services have been deployed to render assistance to the people.
"The NDRF teams have been deployed in Osmanabad, at Pandharpur and Solapur, and Baramati in Pune, while the army, navy and air force have been kept on high alert to help out in any emergencies," he said.
Compounding the rain's havoc were floods in several big and small rivers like Chandrabhaga (Solapur), Panchganga (Kolhapur), Terna (Latur & Osmanabad) and rivers in Pune.
Flood waters gushed into huge tracts of farmlands, several towns and villages, with people seen standing in knee-deep or even chest-deep water in some areas.
As a precautionary measure, more than 1,500 people were shifted to safer locations by the local district authorities as flood levels reached alarming levels.
Mumbai and surrounding districts of Raigad, Thane and Palghar were lashed by heavy rains though there was no disruption to normal routine.
A 'red alert' has been declared for the next 48 hours in the coastal Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg districts which are likely to witness heavy rain and thunderstorms, and fishermen on the entire coastal stretch have been advised against venturing into the Arabian Sea.
"Depression weakened into a well-marked low pressure area over south central Maharashtra Wednesday evening. To emerge into Arabian Sea and intensify further," the IMD said in its forecast, indicating the depression was moving in a westerly direction.
Deputy Director, IMD Mumbai K. S. Hosalikar said rains are also expected to continue in Mumbai.
The downpour and resultant flooding disrupted road traffic between Maharashtra and Karnataka, and Goa stranding hundreds of vehicles, including trucks ferrying essential supplies.
Vast tracts of farmlands were underwater causing extensive damage to various standing crops, and Thackeray directed the district collectors to assess the damage, and make 'panchnamas' to extend relief to the affected people.
Minister of State for Rural Development Dadasaheb Bhuse said that 'panchanama' of all crop damage would be taken after the waters subside and relief would be given on priority.
Meanwhile, Thackeray, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Guardian Ministers of the affected districts monitored the situation closely since this morning along with the Collectors, Superintendents of Police and other officials.