Mumbai and its suburbs witnessed the season’s most intense showers, recording over 268 mm rainfall in 24 hours till Tuesday morning — the highest to be recorded in the last three years for August and second highest in the last 10 years. A total of 331.4 mm rain was recorded in 24 hour on August 30, 2017.
The weather bureau has extended the red alert (to take action) and said isolated places in the city would continue to receive “extremely heavy” rainfall on Wednesday. The rain intensity is likely to reduce from Thursday onwards, it added. A red alert has been also issued for Thane and Palghar for the next two days.
Till 8.30 am Tuesday, the Santacruz weather observatory, representative of the suburbs and Mumbai, recorded a 24-hour rainfall of 268.6 mm. At least 251 mm of the rainfall was recorded during a 12-hour period between 8.30 pm Monday and 8.30 am Tuesday, officials said. The Colaba weather station, for island city, recorded 252.2 mm rain over 24 hours of which 214 mm was recorded in the 12-hour period. Over 204.4 mm rainfall recorded in 24 hours falls in the “extremely heavy rain” category.
In south Mumbai and the suburbs, the high-intensity rain spells were accompanied by high-speed winds and thunder.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), 40-51 kmph wind swept the city between 4 am and 6 am Tuesday. By afternoon, the weather was calmer in the island city and suburbs. In the 12 hours between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm Tuesday, Santacruz observatory recorded 29.3 mm rain while Colaba recorded 10 mm rain.
According to IMD officials, a low-pressure system formed over north Bay of Bengal (BoB) Tuesday morning. “Due to formation of a low-pressure area over North Bay of Bengal off West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts, resultant rainfall intensity is increased over Konkan, including Mumbai and adjoining Ghat areas of Madhya Maharashtra, during August 4 and 6. Enhanced rainfall is also expected over districts of interior Maharashtra,” a bulletin issued by the IMD Mumbai said.
Half of month’s average rain in four days
In the first four days of August, Mumbai has received over half of the month’s average rain. The Santacruz weather observatory has recorded 301.3 mm rain from August 1 to 4 (till 5.30 pm), of which nearly 90 per cent was recorded between August 3 and 4. The monthly average rain for August is 585.2 mm. With the torrential rainfall, Mumbai has reached 97 per cent of its season rainfall target (2,260.4 mm).
“The downpour started around 7 pm last (Monday) night and slowed down around five to six am today (Tuesday) morning. In the 10-hour downpour, 230 mm of rainfall was recorded in Mumbai. The Mithi River had swelled up in the morning because of the heavy rain and breached the prescribed danger mark of 27 metres. In the morning, it had gone up to 34 metres and we had started to evacuate people in the low-lying slum areas. The water levels have come down to 24, so we have ceased evacuation,” IS Chahal, Municipal Commissioner told news agency ANI.
Most areas in the city received over 200 mm of rain in the 24-hour period. Location-wise rain showed Malad west station received the highest rainfall at 313.60 mm in 24 hours ending at 8,30 am on Tuesday, followed by NSC (Worli) station at 301.80 mm, Charkop 281 mm, Vidyavihar 270.20 mm.
Extremely heavy rainfall in western suburbs left Sanjay Gandhi National Park flooded on Tuesday morning. Very heavy rain was also recorded in Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts — Roha in Raigad district received 198 mm, Ratnagiri 156.6 mm, Sawantwadi 140 mm, Vengurala 128.4mm, Thane 120 mm.
However, the catchment areas of the seven lakes, except two lakes within city limits, that supply drinking water to Mumbai did not receive heavy rainfall. The current water stock is 34.95 per cent of the total capacity. Last year, it was 91.61 per cent. A 20 per cent cut in water supply, announced by the civic body earlier, is set to come into effect from Wednesday.
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