Maharashtra rains: Rescue teams save people stranded in villages

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) workers clear the garbage washed ashore during high tide, on the promenade along the Marine Drive, in Mumbai. Photo: PTI

Overnight heavy rains in Mumbai and its adjoining areas crippled normal life and disrupted rail and air traffic on Sunday (August 4) morning. Amidst the heavy downpour which continued to pound the city and its neighbouring areas, a 16-year-old boy was washed away in flood in the adjoining Palghar district, an official said.

Mumbai woke up to heavy downpour for the second day in a row, with no immediate respite likely as the weather office here predicted more showers throughout the day.

According to the city civic body, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast intermittent rain with heavy to very heavy showers in the city and suburbs and extremely heavy rain at isolated places in next 24 hours.

The city, its neighbouring Thane and Palghar districts and Navi Mumbai town were witnessing incessant rains since last two days and a number of incidents of tree fall were reported from there, an official said.

In the last 24 hours, the city received 100 mm rain while the suburbs, Thane and Navi Mumbai got more than 250 mm downpour, IMD’s deputy director K S Hosalikar said.

Cargo ship with 13 on board stranded

A large cargo ship with 13 crew members on board got stranded along the coast in Maharashtra’s Vangaon village.  The cargo ship has been identified to be from Gujarat and had lost control in stormy winds while returning from Alibaug after unloading the steel cargo.

The captain of the ship VV Pillai said it lost control due to extremely heavy waves and zero visibility. Crew members are all safe and have been provided with food and water. Officials are making arrangements to rescue the members.

Trains and Flight services hit

Being a Sunday, most of the office-goers were spared of hardships caused by the suspension of local train services on various routes.

Due to the accumulation of water on tracks at a few sections following heavy and continuous rains, the Central Railway’s services on the Main Line and Harbour Line between the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (in Mumbai) and Karjat, Kasaraand Khopoli were suspended since 8 am, its chief spokesman Sunil Udasi said.

A view of waterlogged street following a heavy monsoon rain, in Thane. Photo: PTI

“This has been done as a precautionary measure to avoid hardships to commuters later…the situation will be reviewed every hour. However, the train services on Trans-Harbour Line and fourth corridor of Kharkopar was running normally,” he said.

“Due to water-logging and crashing of boulders between Karjat (located in neighbouring Raigad district) and Lonavala hill town (in Pune district) in the Western Ghats section, several Mumbai-bound trains were terminated, diverted or cancelled, an official at the CR control room said. The rail route from Pune to Mumbai was also closed,” he added.

Besides local trains, some long distance trains like Duranto, Konark Express, Amritsar Express and Devgiri Express were stuck near Igatpuri (in Nashik district), and Aatgaon and Khardi near Kalyan, another Central Railway official said.

A Mumbai airport spokesperson said two incoming flights were diverted and six had to make a go around due to the heavy rains.

In Palghar, heavy rains led to water levels rising over tracks in some sections, leading to suspension of train services between Vasai and Virar towns, a Western Railway official said.

All Mail and Express trains were stopped on the Western line due to flooding on tracks near Nalasopara, he said. However, trains were moving on the Vasai-Churchgate and Virar-Dadar sections, he added.

Fishermen asked to avoid sea

A 16-year-old boy was feared drowned after he was swept away in the flood in Vikaramgadh taluka of Palghar on Saturday, a district official said, adding that a search was on to trace him.

KS Hosalikar, deputy director general of IMD, in a tweet said, “Heavy rains will continue to lash Mumbai during the day. Rainfall to continue with gusty winds. High tide of 4.5 m plus today afternoon, and surcharged Mithi River. Avoid outing as far as possible. Sea will be rough, fisherman warnings, heavy rainfall warnings in place. Watch for IMD weather updates please.”

Some residents were evacuated from areas around the Mithi River, the BMC said in a statement. Food packets and water were provided to all at the relief camp, it added.

The Thane district administration also asked residents of villages located on the banks of Barvi and Ulhas rivers to shift to safer places as there was flooding in those areas due to release of water from the Barvi dam.