The non-stop rains that gripped Mumbai last weekend, have reminded many of the 2005 flood situation in the city. On Sunday, the BMC Disaster Control reported that rain fury severely hit Mumbai and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region for several hours since midnight. The road, rail and air traffic were crippled across all regions as the night sky opened up with thunder, lightning and heavy cloudburst-like rain.
Effects of the incessant downpour
The virtually non-stop downpour has waterlogged or flooded most parts of Mumbai, besides the coastal Konkan districts of Raigad, Thane, Palghar, parts of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg. The inclement conditions also affected the suburban train services as the WR lines at Nalla Sopara and Virar were flooded and didn't open up until the water receded at 7 AM on Sunday.
Due to worsening weather conditions, operations at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport were suspended for around 4 hours, between 12:42 AM to 5:24 AM. Owing to this, 9 flights had to be diverted, the airport spokesperson was quoted saying. Moreover, water shortage was announced in some parts after muddy floodwaters entered the Bhandup Water Treatment Plant.
As per IMD Mumbai, the rainfall received, measures between 197 mm to over 235 mm in some areas. The incessant downpour lasted around 4 to 5 hours and, as a consequence, the low-lying areas of Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region are heavily waterlogged. Many have reported that water is entering the ground floor chambers of their home in these areas.
BMC reported 11 incidents of house collapse and the worst was observed in Vashi Naka, New Bharat Nagar in the Chembur area, where a retaining wall of the BARC Complex collapsed. This incident happened at around 1 AM and resulted in injuries and fatalities. It has been noted that this collapse triggered the landslide on the small hillock, which magnified the damages.
Rescue efforts and compensation
The Prime Minister of India and the state's Chief Minister announced a compensation of ₹2 lakh and ₹5 lakh, respectively, for the grieving families. The apex head of Maharashtra has also ordered officials to pay special attention to hilly areas and landslide-prone areas, so tragedies can be prevented. In this regard, BMC will work round-the-clock to monitor any unpleasant developments.
Further, the state has been extending all possible help through rescue efforts. The fire brigade, police and medical vans cannot reach the affected spots owing to heavy flooding and narrow approach roads, which has forced the rescue personnel to work manually and in groups.
Prediction for upcoming days
Till the evening of 18 July, the BMC gauges that South Mumbai recorded a rainfall of 177 mm while the Eastern Suburbs registered 205 mm and Western Suburbs saw 195 mm of rainfall. Further, IMD has forecasted heavy rains accompanied by strong winds for the upcoming 5 days. In light of this information, BMC, NDRF, police, fire brigade and other rescue agencies are on high alert in Mumbai and the entire coastal Konkan region.
-With inputs from IANS