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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Alert: 'Mumbai' Asked To 'Stay At Home', Heavy Rains Ahead

By Suchitra Bolkarwar / Mumbai

There is no respite in sight for Mumbaikars who are already wading to work and suffering long traffic jams and delayed trains. The Meteorological Department on Tuesday warned that heavy to very heavy rains will hit Mumbai and coastal Konkan over the next 72 hours. And to add to it,  the high tide is expected to touch 5 metres on Saturday which could lead to flooding.

All agencies concerned with disaster management, relief and rescue operations have been put on high alert and people have been warned against venturing outdoors unless absolutely necessary.
IMD Mumbai Director VK Rajeev said that all the entire state of Maharashtra is expected to get heavy to very heavy rainfall in the next 12-72 hours due to a low-pressure area advancing from the Bay of Bengal and the high-pressure area forming on the west coast.

“Heavy to very heavy rainfall will occur at many places in Konkan, central Maharashtra and Marathwada. Similarly, Mumbai will experience heavy to very heavy rains in the next 72 hours,” Rajeev said. On Tuesday, the suburbs received 142.2 mm of rain while South Mumbai received 84.6 mm, between 8.30 am and 8.30 pm.

Areas such as Dadar, Wadala, Sion, Parel, Byculla, Govandi, Kurla, Malad, Jogeshwari, Santacruz, Dahisar, Bhandup and other suburbs were flooded and traffic had to be diverted to alternative routes. The incessant rains also delayed local trains on the Central Railway and Western Railway lines by 20-30 minutes. Trains on the harbour line came to a complete halt and were resumed only after evening peak hours.

Three people were injured in two wall collapses that occurred in Andheri (west) and Powai. There were at least 13 incidents of trees being uprooted, bringing the number to around 700 since the start of the season. The situation was identical in adjoining Thane and Raigad districts with rains since Monday night severely disrupting road and rail communication with Mumbai.

Meanwhile, IMD officials have asked people to ignore any SMS warning of heavy floods in Mumbai, saying these are being circulated by rumour-mongers. 

If you need any disaster related help, contact the BMC disaster management cell at 108; and for complaints contact 1916. If you know for sure you’re going to be at home, enjoy the rains with a book and a cup of chai!