After a breather on Thursday, Mumbai rains made a comeback with ‘heavy downpours, which continued overnight and throughout Friday’. This led to 27 roads being inundated, 85 bus routes being diverted and 250 people evacuated from the Mithi river bank as the river started swelling.
While the downpour continued throughout the night, most of the heavy rainfall occurred between 5.30am and 8.30am. There was 157mm of rain in these three hours, with 253mm rain being recorded in the last 24 hours at the Santacruz observatory, which is the third-highest 24- hour rainfall in a decade.
While the IMD has issued an orange alert (heavy to very heavy rainfall) at Mumbai, Thane and Palghar for July 18, July 19 and July 20, for July 17, there is a yellow alert (heavy rainfall likely) in place for these three areas.
Mumbai city recorded 55.3 mm rain between 4am and 9am, officials said, adding that the 135mm and 140.5 mm of rain was recorded in the eastern western suburbs respectively, BMC’s disaster management unit said.
Around 250 residents of a slum-dominated area in Kurla were evacuated, as the Mithi river swelled. Once the waters subsided, the evacuees were able to return to their homes.
“People in Kranti Nagar, a slum-dominated area in Kurla west along the bank of Mithi river, were shifted to nearby municipal schools after the water level touched 3.7 metres in the morning, close to its danger mark of four metres,” a senior BMC official from the L ward said.
Friday’s downpour also slowed down trains on Central and Western Railways in the first half of the day. The problem began at 9.3oam when there was a bunching of services, causing trains to run late by 20-25 minutes on both the Main and Harbour lines. Due to heavy rain and waterlogging on the slow line near Kurla-Vidyavihar, trains had to be diverted to the fast line.
By 11am, trains stopped running on the stretch between Mulund and Matunga on the fast corridor. This was because of severe waterlogging on the Matunga-Kurla stretch, at Vikhroli and other spots on this corridor. Slow trains continued to be delayed by 30 minutes or so. Due to heavy rainfall and waterlogging at Chunabatti, train services between Wadala and Mankhurd were stopped for safety reasons in the morning hours. However, on the Harbour, trans-Harbour, Nerul/BelapurKharkopar lines, operations were unaffected. Finally, by 1pm all corridors were clear and trains resumed.
Meanwhile, a truck carrying 20 tonnes of tomatoes overturned on the Eastern Express Highway. Visuals of the clean-up operation showed a mountain of bright red tomatoes piled up on the side of a flyover, with a JCB earthmover trying to gather up the spilt produce. One person was injured in the incident, which happened near Kopri (near Thane) at 2am.
“Currently, a low-pressure area is persisting over southern parts of Gujarat, and monsoon surge is active over the entire west coast of the country right from south Gujarat down to the Kerala coast. In the wake of these weather parameters, moderate to heavy showers with isolated intense spells are expected to continue over Mumbai and suburbs for another 24-48 hours,” stated Skymet Weather, a private weather agency, on its website.
“In fact, many parts of the city may experience rain amounts between 100 and 150mm today. There may be a short break in between the rain activities which will allow the water to flow away. Therefore, the chances of the deluge are less. However, low-lying areas may witness some submergence issues and office goers will definitely face a problem in going to the offices,” the forecast added.
Statistically speaking, between June 1 and July 16, the city of Mumbai has recorded 1,544.9mm rain, as against the normal of 1,068.4mm. As of now, Mumbai has a surplus of 15 per cent and with these rains, the figures are likely to see a rise if the rainfall continues at the same frequency, IMD officials said.
(With inputs from Shashank Rao)