With 18 dead in Wednesday night’s rain in Pune, the district administration has declared a holiday for all schools and colleges in the city along with Baramati, Haveli, Purandhar and Bhor talukas.

An order to this effect was passed by district collector Naval Kishore Ram late night on Thursday.The city suffered its biggest tragedy this monsoon when 18 people were confirmed dead after intense rainfall of 100 mm lashed the city in a four hour period on Wednesday night.

While people died in wall collapses and gushing water in the dead of the night, more than 800 animals, including cattle in local dairies were killed.

An estimated 2,000 vehicles on the roads and parking lots were found submerged in the waterlogged areas of south Pune in localities such as Katraj, Bibwewadi, , Padmavati and Sahakarnagar.

Pune municipal commissioner Saurabh Rao said that encroachments and the narrowing of the Ambil Odha stream had constricted the natural flow of the stream and had led to the destruction in the affected areas.

This has been the biggest rain related tragedies in Pune in recent years. There was relief on Thursday due to clear skies and all attention will now shift to clearing garbage, debris and restoring normalcy in the worst-hit areas.

The intensity of rainfall will start reducing from September 27, India Meteorological Department’s head of weather department, Anupam Kashyapi said.

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