Mumbai had another rain-drenched Tuesday after August 29, with heavy showers coupled with thunder and lightning lashing the city afternoon onwards. The Colaba observatory recorded 142 mm rainfall and Santacruz 136.5 mm between 8.30 am and 8.30 pm. “The heavy rain in the city is a result of cyclonic circulation in the north Konkan region,” said Shubhangi Bhute, a senior official at the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The north Konkan region includes Thane, Mumbai, Palghar and Raigad. According to Bhute, the cyclonic circulation will be stationary until Wednesday morning after which it is likely to weaken. The rainfall was also accompanied by strong winds of 40-45 knots. “The cyclonic circulation and an offshore trough along the Konkan to Kerala coast are causing strong winds across the north Konkan coast,” added Bhute.
While the temperature was ‘normal’ Tuesday, the IMD said humidity was at 93 per cent. The IMD had Sunday warned that the city was likely to experience heavy rainfall over the next five days. According to the IMD, the city and its suburbs are likely to receive intermittent rain Wednesday, while a few places may get heavy to very heavy rainfall. The heavy rainfall is expected to end by Wednesday as the forecast from Thursday to Saturday predicts light rain. Thundershowers are expected Sunday. “These rains will take a backseat by Wednesday and the skies will clear up. These rains will not be as intense as the deluge that had wreaked havoc over Mumbai on August 29,” assured Skymet Weather Tuesday.
Many parts of Mumbai had heavy downpour starting at about 2 pm and continuing till late evening, causing waterlogging and traffic disruption across the city. Alisha Nazareth, who works near Veera Desai Metro Station in Andheri, said the area was flooded three hours after rains lashed the western suburbs. “The water levels have risen above the ankles. Most of us have had to wade through the water,” she said. With the Andheri subway, a chronic flooding spot, blocked due to the rising water levels, vehicles, especially autorickshaws, had to be diverted, added Alisha. Residents of the Air India colony in Kalina, one of the most waterlogging-prone spots in the city, complained about flooding inside the premises. However, water had not seeped inside homes on the ground floor, they said.
“Water levels had risen in the parking lot, though not as high as it was during the floods on August 29. If it continues to rain throughout the night, water may enter our homes,” said a resident of the AI colony. “The visibility and runway visual range recorded at Mumbai airport were 700 m and 800 m, respectively. Flight operations continued with delays. There were four diversions and ten go-around of flights in total. Coaches were deployed for airside transfer of passengers from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2. Seating arrangements and discounted rates for food were arranged for stranded passengers at Terminal 1,” said the official spokesperson at MIAL. Flight operations were shut past 10 pm Tuesday, after a Mumbai-bound SpiceJet flight carrying 183 passengers overshot the main runway while landing. MIAL officials said the main runway would not be used till the aircraft was cleared. The second runway had also been closed due to strong winds, and therefore airport had to remain completely shut for two hours. The second runway re-opened around 12.30 am.
In Bhandup’s Khindipada, two persons were injured in a landslide. They were taken to the MT Agarwal hospital. “One person sustained an abrasion and another has a minor fracture,” said Usha Mhoprekar, the hospital superintendent. The IMD had forecast on Sunday that the city is likely to receive heavy rainfall for five days. However there was no sign of rain until Tuesday afternoon. Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s weather stations recorded 80.50 mm rain between 8 am and 10 pm in the island city, 116.16 mm in the eastern suburbs and 163.48 mm in the western suburbs.
Senior civic officials said while instances of waterlogging were reported in Milan and Andheri subways, areas like Borivali and Dahisar received around 60-70 mm rainfall in an hour’s time. According to the figures released by the BMC, Colaba received 91.95 mm, Andheri 138.34 mm and Borivali 133.84 mm of rainfall between 8 am and 8 pm. “We turned on 140 pumps across the city. We are keeping a close watch on the rains since a high tide of 4.25 m is predicted to occur at 11.45 pm, which will continue till 5.30 am the next day,” said the official.
Complaints of waterlogging were also reported from areas like Vidyavihar, Sion, Hindmata, Eastern Express Highway, while water had entered the compounds of some housing societies in Versova. The disaster management department report indicated that there were at least 41 cases of trees falling across the city. Two instances of short-circuit were reported too. No one, however, was injured. An internal report of the BMC on the day of the on August 29 floods had indicated lack of communication with other agencies including the IMD, BEST (traffic and electricity), Traffic Police, Central Railway, among others. On Tuesday, however, senior civic officials said there was better coordination among the agencies now. “The Central Railway was responsive and it informed us about the delay on Harbour Line caused by the tree that had collapsed on the overhead wire. The IMD’s predictions were not however very helpful as they continue to be vague and to an extent inaccurate,” said an official.
In other parts of the state, moderate rainfall is expected in most parts of Konkan. Many places in central Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha are expected to receive rainfall Wednesday. Nasik, Kolhapur and Satara are likely to witness moderate rainfall.