Heavy rains batter Mumbai, second highest deluge recorded in September

Updated on Sep 20, 2017 11:54 AM IST

Between Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, Mumbai received 303.7 mm, the second highest after the 318.2mm recorded on September 12, 1981

A man pushes his bike through a waterlogged street in Mumbai on Tuesday evening.(Kunal Patil/ Hindustan Times)
A man pushes his bike through a waterlogged street in Mumbai on Tuesday evening.(Kunal Patil/ Hindustan Times)
Hindustan Times, Mumbai | ByBadri Chatterjee and Eeshanpriya

Near-record rainfall left vast areas of Mumbai under water on Wednesday, affecting suburban train services and flights and forcing authorities to shut down educational institutions for a day in the country’s financial capital.

As many as 183 passengers had a narrow escape when a SpiceJet flight overshot a wet runway while landing at the Mumbai airport and got stuck in mud on Tuesday night, officials said. The passengers were safely evacuated but more than 50 flights had to be diverted as a result of the accident.

The latest flooding comes less than a month after the city of 20 million people was pummelled by unusually high rainfall that killed many and brought the metropolis to its knees for at least two days.

Between 8.30am Tuesday and 8.30am Wednesday, the Santacruz weather station, representative of Mumbai and its suburbs, recorded 303.7mm, and Colaba, representative of south Mumbai, recorded 210mm rain, the highest for south Mumbai this monsoon.

The city was just 14.5mm short of the all-time high 24-hour September rainfall of 318.2mm recorded on September 12, 1981. The last days’ rainfall was also the highest in a decade since the September 4, 2012 when the city received 185.3mm rain.

Mumbai’s average rainfall for September is 312.3mm, which was surpassed over the past 24 hours.

Met officials said the city has recorded 536.4mm in September. The total rainfall this season is at 2879.5mm as against the annual average of 2258mm.

A satellite imagery of the cloud cover over Mumbai on Wednesday. (Image source IMD)
A satellite imagery of the cloud cover over Mumbai on Wednesday. (Image source IMD)

“The current satellite images tell us that the thick cloud patch over Mumbai has died down and moved over parts of south Gujarat. Heavy to very heavy rainfall levels are likely to reduce to light to moderate through Wednesday,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director general western region, India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The IMD also forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall at few places with extremely heavy rainfall in Raigad district adjoining Mumbai in the next 24 hours.

On Wednesday, residents reported waterlogging in many parts of the city, forcing people to wade through knee-deep water to reach their place for work and business.

Waterlogging was reported in Borivali, Sion, Hindmata in Dadar, Goregaon, Andheri, Kandivali, Malad, Kharghar, Mankhurd, and Bhandup.

Suburban train services – the city’s lifeline which carries 70 lakh commuters daily -- on all three lines were suspended on Tuesday night.

Though the services resumed on Wednesday, many trains were suspended due to flooded tracks while several others were running late, officials said.

Western line services, suspended between Nalasopara-Virar stations due to water logged tracks, resumed at 7 am but trains are running at least 15-25 minutes late, sources said.

Officials said Central Railway said trains were running with less frequency on the main and Harbour lines.

Some airlines issued advisories to their passengers about the weather conditions and possible delays.

As many as 56 flights have been diverted to different airports till Wednesday morning as the main runway was blocked by the stuck SpiceJet aircraft, an airport official said.

The Mumbai airport, the country’s second busiest airport, handles 930 flights per day with an average of 48 movements per hour.

Mumbai Police also issued advisories through Twitter, warning people about waterlogged streets and asking them to take alternate routes.

Cab aggregator Ola announced to do away with the peak pricing for the sake of commuters.

“#Mumbai We have suspended peak pricing in the city. Get home safe,” Ola’s official handle tweeted with a hashtag #MumbaiRains.

A majority of driver partners of Ola and Uber went on a flash strike in Mumbai on Monday midnight demanding better earnings and security of drivers who were assaulted in the recent past.

In Thane, several areas were waterlogged during the night owing to heavy rainfall. More than seventeen trees also fell since Tuesday afternoon during the heavy downpour.

Though the water levels receded by morning, traffic was non-existent as most people chose not to venture out of their homes. Schools also remained closed in the city.

Santosh Kadam, regional disaster management officer of TMC said two people suffered minor injuries when two houses were damaged in tree falls.

(With inputs from Megha Pol in Thane)

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