Rain gives Mumbai a tight hug

Mumbai: It was Monsoon misery all over again; except for the much hyped resilient spirit of Mumbaikars, everything was virtually under wate.

At least 8 persons were killed in Mumbai and Satara as rains continued to batter the state, especially the coastal Konkan region, on Sunday. The State was not found wanting in its response and helicopters rescued 73 people in Thane.

Boats were also deployed and 400 people stranded in Mumbai suburbs were ferried to safety. The maximum evacuations were from residential areas near the Mithi, which was flowing well beyond the danger mark.

In Mumbai, a 52-year-old woman and her son died of electrocution after they touched the door of their water-logged house in suburban Santacruz; Mehboob M. Shaikh, 20, was washed away in Dharavi after he fell into a swollen sewage line; there were unconfirmed reports of two deaths in Bhiwandi and one in Virar.

Two persons from Pune - Nitin Shelar and Vaishakh Nambiar - drowned in a waterfall in Satara after their car rammed a barricade on a bridge and tumbled into a flooded rocky drain at Babhalnala early on Sunday.

To be on the safe side, the BMC has announced that schools and colleges in Mumbai will remain closed on Monday. Most schools and colleges in Thane, Ratnagiri and Pune too will observe a holiday on Monday.

Thane is submerged; the IAF deployed a MI-17 helicopter to rescue 58 marooned villagers, including 18 children, from a village in Thane district. In another operation, 15 stranded villagers were airlifted by a MI-17 chopper in Buranda village of Palghar. The operations were conducted after a request by the Maharashtra government.

The Western Railway services between Vasai-Virar were suspended for several hours as the tracks were flooded, before resuming at reduced speeds after 14.35 pm.

Central Railway services were hit in some sectors like Kurla-Sion due to waterlogging on tracks, breaches in railway lines, and landslides on outstation routes, while its suburban Harbour Line was paralysed.

Owing to boulders falling on railway tracks, the CR cancelled 18 trains, diverted three services and short-terminated seven long-distance trains at various points. Trains like the Nagpur-Mumbai Duronto Express were stuck at Igatpuri since 4 a.m.

Thousands of outstation passengers were stranded at various stations in Mumbai, Thane and Palghar as the train services were disrupted, while hundreds more were stuck in incoming trains that have been halted at various locations.

Similar chaos was witnessed on the Konkan Railway with trains getting delayed, inconveniencing thousands of passengers.

4.86M HIGH TIDE: Mumbai experienced a 4.86 metres high tide at 2.29 p.m., and the cumulative effect led to homes in many parts of the suburbs experiencing flash floods.

A portion of a bridge on Pinjal River in Palghar was washed away on Sunday morning, bringing traffic to a complete halt on both sides, though there were no casualties.

For the second consecutive day, waterlogging was reported in many areas of Nalasopara, Vasai, Virar, Vikramgad (Palghar district), Mira Road, Bhayander, Thane City, Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Titwala, Ulhasnagar (Thane), Roha, Pali, Mangaon, Karjat, Pen, Panvel (Raigad), and Mandangad, Chiplun, and Dapoli (Ratnagiri).

In Mumbai several chronic spots in Dahisar, Borivali, Kandivali, Andheri, Santacruz, Khar, Bandra, Matunga, Parel, Dadar, Kings Circle, Sion, Vikhroli, Ghatkopar, Kurla, Bhandup, Mulund and other parts were flooded.

However, there were no traffic snarls, since it was a holiday. Subways in Kandivali, Malad and Andheri were flooded, hampering traffic movement in the east-west directions. However, most flights were operating at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport with delays of around 30 minutes.

Till Sunday morning, the IMD said Mumbai city had recorded 142 mm rain and the suburbs 204 mm. The BMC's rain monitors pegged the figure at 116 mm for Mumbai city, and 195 mm for the eastern-western suburbs.

The BMC Disaster Control had issued a warning to people not to venture near the beaches as a very high tide of 4.9 metres will occur at 1.44 p.m. and keep away from all seafronts for the next two days as extremely heavy rains are forecast.

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