Mumbai put on red alert after heavy rains; local trains cancelled, flights delayed

Pedestrians walk on a waterlogged street during heavy rains, in Mumbai on Wednesday. Photo: PTI

Heavy rains in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra on Wednesday (September 4) inundated several low-lying areas, leading to cancellation of some local trains, delaying of
flights and slow movement of road traffic.

Over 100 villages in Gadchiroli and Gondia in Vidarbha region and several others in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg of Konkan region were cut off from other parts of the respective districts due to water-logging on roads, officials said.

Landslides were also reported in the Western Ghat areas of Raigad and Sindhudurg districts. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted intense showers in Mumbai and some other areas of the state on Wednesday.

After a brief lull last week, rains resumed since Monday, with the south-west monsoon getting activated again, Mumbai and several other parts of the state witnessed heavy rains overnight and on Wednesday morning.

A view of waterlogged railway tracks following heavy rains in Thane on Wednesday. Photo: PTI

The heavy rains have made a comeback at a time when people across the state are celebrating the 10-day long Ganpati festival.

In Mumbai and its suburbs, the heavy downpour since Tuesday night caused water-logging in low-lying areas, leading to cancellation of several local trains on the Central and Harbour railway lines and some sections of the Western line.

The Western Railway said the water level went above 300 mm at Nallasopara, in view of which trains were stopped temporarily between Vasai and Virar.

In the morning, rail services were also affected due to a point failure at Virar, the Western Railway said.

The Jaipur-Mumbai Duranto Express was stranded near Vaitarna station for over an hour due to flooding on tracks.

Some passengers of the train complained that the railways did not update them about the situation. A Mumbai airport official said five incoming flights had to do go around while the flights were delayed by an average 25 minutes.

Vehicular movement on roads in Mumbai and its suburbs was also slow due to flooding. The suburbs received more showers as compared to south Mumbai in last 24 hours, an IMD official said.

Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray in a tweet said the city has witnessed the “heaviest rainfall so far, with the total rainfall mark exceeding the whole of September in just about 30 hours”.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the police were making all efforts to keep people safe, he said.

The Mithi river in the city was also flowing close to the danger mark, he said, adding that the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and other agencies were alerted.

Pedestrians walk on a waterlogged street during heavy rains, in Mumbai, Wednesday. Photo: PTI

Following heavy rains in neighbouring Thane, collector Rajesh Narvekar asked the schools in the district to be closed for the day.

A 62-year-old man drowned in a flooded nullah (drain) at Naikpada in Bhiwandi area of Thane, district disaster control room officer Anita Jawanjal said.

Heavy rains also pounded Gadchiroli and Gondia, where over 100 villages were cut off from other parts of the respective districts because of flooding on the key connecting roads, an official from Nagpur revenue division said.

Similarly, some remote villages in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts were also cut off due to water-logging on roads, an official from the Konkan revenue division.

Besides, landslides were reported at Tamhini ghat in Raigad and Gaganbavda ghat, which connects Kolhapur and Sindhudurg, affecting vehicular movement, officials at the respective district collectorates said.

The southwest monsoon has reactivated in western and eastern areas of Maharashtra this week, but the central parts of the state still remain parched.

IMD issues red alert

With heavy rains pounding Mumbai and its suburbs, the weather department on Wednesday issued a red alert for the city and adjoining areas and asked the authorities to be prepared to handle any situation.

Out of the 150 weather stations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), around 100 recorded over 200 mm rainfall in last 24 hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

“This shows how widespread the rainfall has been over Mumbai. We have issued a red alert for various places, including Mumbai city and suburbs, Thane and Palghar districts, for next 24 hours,” an IMD official told.

Low pressure over the Bay of Bengal has resulted in torrential showers in Mumbai city, suburbs, Thane and Palghar, he said. “The situation is likely to remain like this for next 24 hours,” the official said.

The neighbouring Raigad district received almost 300 mm rainfall in last 24 hours, “but going by the progress of clouds, no red alert has been issued there,” he said. Parts of Palghar and Thane districts also received more than 204 mm downpour in last 24 hours, he added.