Mumbai is likely to witness rain and thundershowers, accompanied by squally winds, in the next 48 hours due to the cyclonic storm, Ockhi, according to the local weather forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). An IMD official said the forecast included moderate-to-heavy rainfall at a few places “along with wind speed reaching 50-60 kmph gusting to 70 kmph” along the coastal areas.
According to the IMD, the very severe cyclonic storm, Ockhi, over the east-central Arabian Sea, which was 540 km southwest of Mumbai until 8.30 pm, had moved north-eastwards with a speed of 16 kmph and had weakened into a severe cyclonic storm.
“It is very likely to continue to move north or northeastwards, weakening gradually and crossing south Gujarat and the adjoining north Maharashtra coast. It is likely to form a deep depression near Surat by Tuesday night,” said the official, adding that areas in north Maharashtra, including Palghar, Thane, Raigad and Mumbai, are likely to get affected with rains and thundershowers. The IMD has also issued an advisory for fishermen in the area to return to coast and not go out in the sea during the next 48 hours since the sea will be rough to very rough with northeasterly waves.
On Monday evening, many parts of the city witnessed rainfall with the Colaba observatory registering 11.4 mm rainfall and Santacruz 7 mm rainfall till 8.30 pm. The minimum temperature recorded in Colaba was 25 degrees Celsius while Santacruz recorded a minimum of 23 degrees. In the next 48 hours, the minimum temperature is likely to remain in the range of 22-23 degrees.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Amitesh Kumar said police personnel would be on high alert for the next 48 hours. “We will be keeping a special watch on the areas prone to water-logging in the city. Manpower has been kept on reserve for any requirement in these areas,” he said. Kumar added that there was traffic congestion on the Western Express Highway and Linking Road Monday, but it could not be solely attributed to the rainfall as the areas were usually prone to congestion on weekdays in the evening.
Railways and Airport On Guard
Railway officials in Mumbai arranged a mock drill Monday and announced that all emergency numbers had been updated. Emergency cell has been opened at CSMT and Kalyan stations. “More than 250 officials of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Maharashtra State Security Force Personnel have been deployed for crowd management and other related activities at stations.
Ticket checking staff have also been put on crowd management duties. “Special announcements for crowd management are being regularly done. Ghat patrolling has been intensified. Mid-line in ghat section has been closed for passenger train movement,” said Sunil Udasi, Chief PRO, Central Railway.
Officials added that break-down equipment such as accident relief train and accident relief medical van has been arranged for.
“The staff has been counselled on the instructions on cyclone of General and Subsidiary Rules,” Udasi added. Officials from the Air Traffic Control at Mumbai airport said no pre-empt warning had been issued as of now. “The main runway can handle operations even during strong winds. If any unlikely activity is noted, due action will be taken,” said Rajiv Saxena, General Manager, ATC.