19 dead in Mumbai after highest rain in 24 hours since 2005 flood
Officials said on Tuesday the death toll in the wall collapse incident in Mumbai’s Malad went up to 19 as the city received the second highest July rain over a 24-hour period in 44 years after the 2005 flood.
The heavy rains have disrupted road, rail and air traffic in the financial capital, prompting officials to shut schools and offices, though financial markets were open.
Six more people were killed in Maharashtra’s Pune after a wall of an educational institute in collapsed on Tuesday and three others died in a similar incident in Thane district, taking the death toll in rain-related accidents in the state to 27.
Officials in Mumbai said the compound wall of BMC’s reservoir at Pimpri Pada near Shivneri High School on Rani Sati Marg in Malad (East) collapsed on a few shanties late on Monday night, trapping several people. The incident was reported at around 1am on Tuesday after which the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) and NDRF officials reached the spot.
A woman, who was trapped along with a child, under the debris was rescued and sent to a hospital, officials said.
They said 72 more people have been admitted to several hospitals, where the condition of at least four is said to be critical.
“Pained to know about the loss of lives in Malad Wall Collapse incidence. My thoughts are with families who lost loved ones & prayers for speedy recovery of injured. Rs 5 lakh will be given to the kin of deceased,” chief minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted with a hashtag MumbaiRains.
Following incessant rains, a retaining wall of Sinhgad institute at Ambegaon area of Pune collapsed after midnight on shanties housing workers. According to district collector Naval Kishore Ram, the wall gave in after a tree fell on it. Among the dead were construction labourers from Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, said Pune Municipal Corporation officials.
In a separate incident, at least three people were killed and one injured in a wall collapse incident early on Tuesday in Kalyan, about 40km from Mumbai. The wall of National Urdu School, opposite Durgadi Fort in Kalyan (West), fell on the nearby hutments killing two women and a three-year-old boy. A 16-year-old girl was also injured in the accident.
The weather department has forecast that the city and its suburbs will receive heavy to very heavy rain with isolated spells of extremely heavy rain in the next 24 hours. And in the 48 hours, intermittent rain is likely in city and suburbs with heavy to very heavy showers at a few places.
“In a span of six hours (between 11.30pm Monday and 5.30am Tuesday), Mumbai recorded over 200mm rain. Comparing the amount of rainfall over the past four days, it is a clear indication of an extreme weather event for the city. It primarily indicates short bursts of extremely heavy rain,” KS Hosalikar, India Meteorological Department’s deputy director general (western region), said.
Ever since the heavy rain spell began on June 28 in Mumbai, so far the total rainfall recorded has been 794.8 mm. This is a little less than 840.7mm which is the required average rains for the entire month of July.
“On Monday, we had issued rainfall warning of heavy to very heavy rain in some areas but it was not anticipated that extremely heavy rain would occur. This happened due to a cloud patch over the Mumbai suburbs that allowed intense rainfall activity for six hours straight. However, warnings were modified and authorities notified at 12.30am Tuesday morning, and our website was updated by 2am,” said Hosalikar.
Torrential downpour, especially in the suburbs, between Monday night and Tuesday morning led to Mumbai recording its second highest July rain over a 24-hour period since 1975 or 44 years after the July 26, 2005 floods that killed over 1,000 people, which was the highest with 944mm in 24-hours. However, the quantum of rain was the highest 24-hour of July rain in 10 years.
“Due to heavy rain forecast in Mumbai even today by IMD, People are advised to stay indoors unless there is any emergency,” chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ office tweeted in the morning.
Traffic continued to move slowly across the city after several roads were waterlogged. By 11am on Tuesday, no major traffic jams were reported but traffic snarls were seen on many roads after owners abandoned their vehicles.
Officers said that on many roads just one lane was fit for travelling as roadsides were flooded slowing the pace of vehicular traffic.
According to the traffic police, traffic was moving slowly in Matunga, Sion Gandhi Market, LBS, BKC, Andheri, Nayak Nagar, Everard Nagar, Kherwadi flyover, Khar subway, Jogeshwari JVLR, Hansmogara junction at Malad Chowky and Goregaon flyover.
Due to the closure of Andheri, Khar and Malad subways motorists had to face traffic snarls on adjoining roads as well.
Watch | Incessant rains brings Mumbai to a standstill, 16 killed in wall collapse
Commuters claimed that a traffic jam was reported on the Western Express Way towards Bandra Kalanagar and Vakola towards the Santacruz airport. Due to water logging on Eastern Expressway, the BKC to Mankhurd flyover also saw a traffic jam.
The traffic police have cautioned motorists to drive with care and follow traffic diversions.
Several local and long-distance trains were cancelled amid reports of tracks being flooded stranding passengers on various stations. Western Railway and Central Railway have been updating the status of train lines that are functional on Twitter.
Central Railway started a special train for Kalyan from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT). Officials said waterlogging on tracks has reduced and that they are inspecting the damage to the trains. They are also meeting to take a decision on the starting operation of local trains between CSMT and Thane railway stations.
A spokesperson of the Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd said 55 flights — 26 international and 29 domestic — flights have been diverted from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport.
Several flights to and from Mumbai were delayed and cancelled as well due to the traffic situation at the airport. The cancelled flights include 18 domestic arrivals and 24 departures as well as four international arrivals and four departures.