Mumbai: Tauktae leaves city tattered

The extremely severe cyclonic storm Tauktae left Mumbai battered on Monday. The following day, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) presented data of catastrophes that it recorded between 8 am on May 17 and 8 am on May 18. In 24 hours, it revealed, it registered a total of 2,364 cases of tree uprooting in Mumbai. Out of the total such registered incidents, 1,103 cases were reported from the western suburbs, 595 cases were reported from the eastern suburbs and 666 cases were reported from the city.

Senior officials of the Garden Department said that it is one of the highest tree uprooting incidents that was recorded in a single day. "The faster the wind blows, the easier the roots become loose. The wind speed was very high when the cyclone hit, which is why more trees were uprooted," Saheb Rao Gavit, deputy superintendent, BMC garden cell, said.

Furthermore, he infomed, even 24 hours after the cyclone had passed, the process of clearing uprooted trees continued in most parts of the city. "The process takes time because we have to chop trees into small parts and then take it from there," he said.

Public representatives who were on the ground after the cyclone receded also said that tree uprooting incidents had caused more inconvenience than water logging. "Many huts in slum areas were destroyed after trees fell on them. In many parts, vehicular movement was disrupted. Emergency vehicles weren’t able to pass, as uprooted trees had blocked roads," said senior Congress corporator Asif Zakaria.

Meanwhile, 56 complaints of water logging were reported in the city and suburbs. 46 incidents of house/building collapse were reported, in which nine people were injured.

Four people each from the western and eastern suburbs were injured in house collapse incidents and one person was injured in the city. The injured have been identified as Akshay Mali, Sudarshan Mali, Akash Mali, Sagar Hanuman, Kundra Sakpal, Sagar Sakpal and Devyani Sakpal. Senior officials of BMC have said that all the injured are in stable condition and most of them have been discharged from hospitals.

Total 39 cases of short circuits were reported in Mumbai, out of which 19 were from the western suburbs, four were from the easter suburbs and 16 were from the city.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator from Cuffe Parade Harshita Narwekar said that, in order to avoid a short circuit, she had asked the local suppliers to temporarily stop power supply. "Many houses and industrial properties have meter houses on the ground floor. The intensity of the rainfall was high. So, as a precautionary measure, we asked the suppliers to stop power supply," Narwekar said.

Meanwhile, between Monday and Tuesday, the BMC disaster control helpline of 1916 received a total of 9,817 emergency calls owing to heavy rainfall and high wind speed in the city. "We have been receiving calls related to uprooted trees and collapsed houses till Tuesday morning," said an official of the disaster management cell.

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