Torrential rains threw normal life out of gear in Mumbai and triggered a landslide which derailed an express train while the flood situation improved slightly in Bihar with no fresh deaths reported today. Heavy rains lashed south Gujarat and parts of Saurashtra too, disrupting normal life, with the MeT department predicting heavy to very heavy rains in the region over the next two days.
The flood situation improved in West Bengal and Assam, as rail services for transporting goods to the flood-ravaged northeastern region resumed and passenger train services are expected to restart from September 3. A landslide caused by heavy rains led to the derailment of the Nagpur-Mumbai Duronto Express’ engine and nine coaches between Vasind and Asangaon stations in Maharashtra, but no casualties were reported in the incident.
Torrential rains accompanied by strong winds pummelled Mumbai, disrupting rail, road and air services, uprooting trees, swamping homes, and bringing the megapolis and satellite towns to their knees. But there were no casualties. People’s woes were compounded by the high tide that prevented natural drainage of water into the sea.
Meteorological department sources said Mumbai recorded copious rain of 65 mm in just three hours. Trains were running late or stopped on all three suburban railway lines as tracks were submerged at several places. Traffic crawled at snail’s pace on important roads.
“The metropolis has received heavy rainfall since last night. Between 8.30 am and 12 pm today, the city received 85 mm rainfall,” Sudhir Naik, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, told PTI. Many flights had to be diverted to other cities and aircraft had to do go-arounds through the day.
Charan Singh, Director, India Meteorological Department, said a ‘Red’ warning has been issued for the next 24 hours for the city and adjoining areas, indicating there could be very heavy rainfall. He said the city and surrounding areas would continue to receive heavy rainfall over the next 2-3 days. Due to the heavy rainfall, at least 39 dams in Gujarat are overflowing, while another 31 dams have received 99 per cent water. Seventeen dams are 80-90 per cent full.
As flood waters were receding in some places of Bihar, many people have returned to their homes and only 116 relief camps are functioning now in which 1.38 lakh people are staying. The toll remained at 514 while 1.71 crore people are affected in 19 districts, a report of state disaster management department said.
In Assam, 1.02 lakh people were still affected by floods in four districts in the state as one more person died in Morigaon district taking the toll in the third wave of floods in the state to 74. The total number of people killed in this year’s flood-related incidents in Assam has gone up to 158.
According to an Assam State Disaster Management Authority report, Morigaon is the worst-affected with more than 55,500 hit, followed by Nagaon with nearly 43,000 people affected in the deluge. Currently, 288 villages and 12,000 hectares of crop area are still inundated, the ASDMA said, adding the authorities are running 70 relief camps and distribution centres across five districts, where 21,049 people are taking shelter.
The northern parts of West Bengal, some of which are yet to recover from the impact of flood, are again likely to receive heavy rains from August 31. The flood-situation in the six north Bengal districts improved a lot and the toll remained 90.
Coochbehar, Jalpaiguri, Malda, South Dinajpur and North Dinajpur districts are still recovering from the depredation of flood caused by heavy rains earlier this month. So far, close to 1.5 crore people have been affected in the floods in the state which has lost an estimated Rs 14,000 crore in the deluge.
The flood-like situation in the three southern districts of Odisha, which were lashed by incessant rains yesterday, has improved slightly as water began to recede, though the road connectivity remained affected. The water levels of the rivers, which have inundated six villages, were going down as the intensity of rain, triggered by a low pressure, decreased, officials said. However, the IMD has forecast more rains in the state.