Heavy rains lashed Mumbai overnight, leaving many parts of the city in waist-deep water and disrupting rail and road traffic on Wednesday. The Santacruz observatory recorded 286.4 mm rainfall during the 24-hour period ending at 8.30 am on Wednesday, making it the fourth-highest rainfall in Mumbai since 1974, an IMD official said.
“Around 6 inches high waterlogging at Andheri Subway. However traffic has been resumed and police personnel from DN Nagar Police Station are on the spot to ensure convenient commute for Mumbaikars,” Mumbai Police tweeted.
At the municipal Nair Hospital in central Mumbai, the COVID-19 outpatient department (OPD) set up in a temporary shed in the compound was shifted to the casualty ward inside the building due to waterlogging in the compound, they said. A doctor from the hospital said the normal OPD at the hospital has been suspended temporarily and only emergency cases are being examined at the casualty ward.
Two watchmen died in Agripada area after getting stuck inside a lift in the basement of a high rise building because of waterlogging, a police official said. There was also waterlogging in several areas in the suburbs like Goregaon, Malad and Dahisar, he said.
Rains across the island city and the western suburbs picked up late on September 22 evening. There were intense spells across Mumbai overnight, a civic official told news agency PTI.
On Wednesday morning, public transport services were hit and normal life affected in the financial capital due to heavy downpour and waterlogging. Several streets and low-lying areas were waterlogged due to overnight rains and the road traffic was also badly hit, a civic official said. Some vehicles broke down in the water, affecting the traffic movement, he added.
Mumbai’s municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has asked that all offices and establishments in the city, barring essential services, be shut on Wednesday due to the downpour and IMD’s forecast of “heavy to very heavy rains” in the city. A Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) release said Chahal has also appealed Mumbaikars not to step out of their homes, unless it is an emergency.
Suburban train services of Central Railway and Western Railway were suspended but resumed later as the intensity of the downpour waned. Railways also cancelled or rescheduled many long-distance trains following the heavy rains. There was waterlogging in Sion-Kurla and Chunabhatti- Kurla sections and traffic was suspended on CSMT-Thane and CSMT-Vashi sections for safety reasons, a CR official told PTI.
Suburban trains, considered the lifeline of Mumbai, are being operated for essential services employees due to COVID-19 outbreak and common citizens are not authorised to travel in them as of now. A civic official said the public bus service of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) was hit due to waterlogged streets, and traffic diverted at many places.
Five teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are on standby in view of heavy rains in Mumbai, Thane and Palghar districts, Maharashtra Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said. Wadettiwar said heavy rains caused a flood-like situation in many places, adding that Disaster Management department is keeping a close watch on the situation.
Mumbai received one of the highest showers in the last 24 hours of this monsoon season and more rainfall is likely in the city on Wednesday, India Meteorology Department (IMD) Mumbai centre Deputy Director General K S Hosalikar said. The Santacruz observatory received 286.4 mm showers during the 24-hour period ending at 8.30 am on Wednesday, another IMD official said. “Today’s rainfall of 286.4 mm is the fourth highest in Mumbai since 1974,” he added.
As per the record of Santacruz observatory since 1974, it reported 318.2 mm rainfall in 24 hours on September 23, 1981, 312.4 mm rainfall on September 23, 1993 and 303.7 mm rainfall on September 20, 2017, the official said. According to the IMD, rainfall recorded below 15 mm is considered light, between 15 and 64.5 mm is moderate and above 64.5 mm is heavy. Several parts of Mumbai received more than 120 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours, the department said.
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday suspended hearings, including all virtual hearings, scheduled for the day, in view of the heavy rainfall in the city and suburbs.