Mumbai: One person was killed and normal life disrupted in many areas on Saturday as, for the second time this week, torrential rains lashed the Mumbai suburbs, and adjoining districts of Thane, Raigad and Palghar, officials said. At least five picnickers went missing and another 30 were rescued from a picturesque hilly picnic spot, Chinchoti Falls in Palghar district.
An aerial search with helicopters and a NDRF team from here have launched a rescue operation to trace the missing persons. Usha Sawant, 40, was electrocuted and her daughter Kumari, 5, injured following a short-circuit in their house in PMGP Colony in suburban Mankhurd.
The Central Railway suburban and long distance train traffic was again hit after at least three signal poles fell down in the rains. It diverted two trains on the Mumbai-Pune sector and cancelled three services due to the downpour which continued till evening. Though streams and water bodies adjoining the Western Railway were swollen, there was no major impact on the train traffic.
Large parts of towns like Palghar, Boisar, Dahanu, Saphale, Virar, Vasai, Kalyan, Ambernath, Badlapur, Vidyavihar, Bhiwandi, Ulhasnagar, Karjat, Pali and surrounding villages experienced flooding or heavy waterlogging, throwing traffic movement out of gear. The busy Mumbai-Goa Highway was blocked for over three hours due to landslides or tree crashes resulting in massive traffic jams over several kilometres, and peoples’ weekend getaway plans went haywire.
A majority of the big and small rivers in western and coastal parts of the state including the Savitri River, were overflowing, with flood waters running into surrounding villages. The famed hill stations of Matheran (Raigad) and Mahabaleshwar (Satara), Khandala (Pune) received heavy rains and over 10,000 people jostled in traffic snarls to visit the Bhushi Dam in neighbouring twin-hill station of Lonavala which received 160 mm rains.
While Matheran and Karjart in Raigad received around 190 mm and 150 mm respectively, Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani 160 mm, Murbad in Thane was inundated under 220 mm, and Wada in Palghar with 230 mm. The IMD said most places in the Palghar, Thane and Raigad received an average of around 110-200 mm rains in the past 24 hours.
It has also forecast heavy to very heavy rains in Mumbai and adjoining districts over the next 24-48 hours, besides in places like Nagpur, Aurangabad, Nanded, Akola, Wardha, Chandrapure and the coastal Konkan.