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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Mumbai, day after: One dead, 9 injured, sea wall damaged, trees fallen

The toll is expected to rise, with two men still missing after two boats were swept away. Nine people were injured in wall collapse incidents.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai |
May 19, 2021 3:31:32 am
Fallen trees on a road in Mumbai. (Photo: Ganesh Shirsekar)

Extremely Severe Cyclone ‘Tauktae’, which brushed past Mumbai at a distance of 120-130 km shortly after Monday afternoon, left a trail of destruction. Nearly 2,000 trees and branches fell as high-speed wind and heavy rain lashed the city. One person died due to a tree collapse.

The toll is expected to rise, with two men still missing after two boats were swept away. Nine people were injured in wall collapse incidents.

Sangeeta Kharat (45) died after a tree fell on her near BDD Chawl on Monday. She was rushed to KEM hospital.

A total of 43 incidents of wall/building collapse were recorded in the last 24 hours in the city, in which nine were injured in three incidents. Also, 39 short-circuit complaints were recorded between Monday and Tuesday morning in the aftermath of the cyclone.

Flood water from most areas of the city was cleared by Monday night. Of waterlogging complaints from 56 places, 21 were in the island city, four in the eastern suburbs and 21 in the western suburbs.

BMC disaster management department’s helpline number 1916 received 9,817 calls from citizens reporting tree collapse, waterlogging, diverted traffic, asking for updates, and other incidents in 24 hours till Tuesday morning.

Record rainfall

The Santacruz observatory recorded 230 mm in 24 hours ending 8.30 am Tuesday. The all-time record for 24-hour rainfall in May was previously 190 mm (in 2000). Likewise, the Colaba observatory recorded 207 mm in the same time period, breaking the existing 24-hour rainfall record of 190.8mm (2000) on Monday.

As per location-wise data, Kandivali in the western suburbs recorded the highest rainfall in 24 hours at 320 mm, followed by Prabodhankar Thackeray Natya Mandir in Borivali west at 315 mm rain.

Several areas in Mumbai reported over 200 mm rainfall during this same time, according to data from BMC, including Kandivali at 320 mm, Borivali 315 mm, Haji Ali 240 mm, Worli area in G/South ward 266 mm, Dahisar 292 mm and Goregaon 281 mm.

Sea wall damaged

Strong waves damaged a sea-facing safety wall and iron gates near the Gateway of India. The safety wall opposite the Taj hotel was completely washed off. The jetty near the structure was also damaged. Two huge basalt rocks used in the jetty wall were dislodged. The main structure of the monument did not suffer damage, but a portion of the footpath near it caved in, a civic official said.

The area has been barricaded and stones collected for repairs, he said.

Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar visited the monument on Tuesday and reviewed the damage and cleanliness work undertaken by the civic body. “Mumbai Port Trust should undertake a survey to assess the damage to the wall and repair it keeping in the mind future calamities,” Pednekar said.

From the Gateway of India premises alone, a BMC official said they picked up four trucks of garbage after the cyclonic storm subsided.

Heavy tidal waves and gusty winds destroyed more than 30 boats parked in the shallow waters of Madh, and nine boats were washed away from the Khar-Danda jetty.

Uprooted trees

In 24 hours between Monday and Tuesday morning, 2,364 trees and branches fell as high-speed wind swept through the city. Till Tuesday night, the BMC was clearing the roads.

Of the 2,364 incidents, nearly half — 1103 — were from western suburbs, 666 took place in the island city, and 595 in the eastern suburbs. Huge banyan trees were seen uprooted in Bandra, Khar, Andheri west, Colaba, Cuffe Parade areas.

The maximum wind speed of 114 km/hr was recorded at Colaba pumping station, followed by Britannia pumping station at 107 km/hr, and Malvani at 101.4 km/hr 8 am on Monday and 8 am on Tuesday.

Missing persons

Two people were reported missing and are suspected to have drowned in two boat accidents in the sea. An anchored boat near Madh Jetty burst in one of the incidents, trapping five people. While four people were rescued, one is missing. Similarly, the anchor of another boat parked behind the Mahim causeway broke. It was carrying five people, two of whom swam to the shore, two were rescued, and one is missing.

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