At least five persons were killed in different rain-related incidents during Tuesday’s deluge when Mumbai was virtually paralyzed while the political parties kept blaming each other for the mess and leaving no opportunity to take the credit for relief work. According to the BMC Disaster Control, a two-year-old girl, Kalyani Gopal Jangam, was crushed under a wall which crashed during heavy rains in Jankalyan Nagar in Vikhroli East. In another incident in Vikhroli’s Suryanagar, two persons were killed when a portion of a house collapsed following the torrential rains.
An 18-month-old infant, Nikhil Satyendra, and a 40-year-old man, Suresh A. Maurya, succumbed during treatment at Rajawadi Hospital in adjoining Ghatkopar suburb. In Ghatkopar’s Ambedkar Nagar, Rameshwar Tiwari, 45, was killed while his wife Manju and their minor children Krishna and Ronak were injured when a wall of their home crashed on them. A dozen people, mainly senior citizens, are reportedly missing in different parts of Mumbai though many are suspected as ‘lost’ or temporarily not able to communicate.
The Shiv Sena, which controls the city civic body, accused the BJP, its alliance partner in the state government, of taking “undue credit” for the relief work being carried out by the Uddhav Thackeray-led party. The civic chief blamed extreme weather conditions for waterlogging on roads and railway tracks, saying the municipal machinery worked fine in the hour of crisis.
The Santacruz observatory of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) registered 331.4 mm rainfall on Tuesday, the heaviest since the July 26, 2005 record of 944 mm, which had caused the worst havoc in decades in the city. This is also the highest rainfall in a day in August since 1997. It was second only to 346.2 mm of rainfall registered on August 23, 1997, the data showed.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast “heavy to very heavy rains” in entire coastal Konkan region of Maharashtra, including Mumbai, on Wednesday. Similar wet conditions shall prevail in the Konkan districts of Palghar, Thane, Mumbai, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg over the next 48-72 hours. Besides Konkan, heavy rains are expected in central Maharashtra and Marathwada region, in neighbouring Goa and Gujarat’s Kutchh and Saurashtra regions starting from Wednesday till Sunday, according to IMD.
Flight operations in Mumbai largely remained affected for the second day on Wednesday, even though rains subsided and the city struggled to get back on its feet following incessant downpour a day before. The airlines had to either cancel and delay a number of flights, mainly due to difficulties being faced by their crew and passengers in reaching the airport. Private carrier Jet Airways cancelled 19 flights out of the city, including some of its international services. Its other flights are delayed by up to two hours.
The train service, however, resumed on the western railway line on Wednesday. The Railway Ministry said on twitter that the services on the western railway resumed yesterday at 11.58 pm and stranded passengers were evacuated. However, few trains were cancelled.
Meanwhile, around 450 personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been mobilised for deployment in Mumbai. Three NDRF teams, already pre-positioned in Mumbai, were immediately supplemented by sending more teams, a home ministry statement said. The NDRF headquarters in New Delhi is closely monitoring the situation and is in touch with IMD and other agencies, the statement said.
(With inputs from agencies)
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