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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

Mumbai rains: Schools, colleges shut as city reels due to monsoon miseries

Schools and colleges have been asked to remain shut by authorities amid indications of a fresh spell of heavy showers in the megapolis.

mumbai Updated: Aug 30, 2017 10:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Mumbai, Hindustan Times
A man sits on a car that got stuck in a waterlogged street following heavy rains in Mumbai.
A man sits on a car that got stuck in a waterlogged street following heavy rains in Mumbai.(AP)
         

The weatherman ruled out possibility of heavy rain in Mumbai on Wednesday as the flood-hit city tried to cope with the massive deluge that left vast areas under water and people stranded overnight at train stations and offices.

The country’s financial capital was brought to its knees on Tuesday after near-record rainfall left the city under water, disrupting flights and trains and leaving thousands of people stranded for long hours.

Rain stopped overnight and suburban trains resumed services late on Tuesday though the city braced for another day of hardship with vast areas still under water.

“Mumbai is not going to see rains for few hours as the monsoon clouds have moved towards north”, said KS Hosalikar of the India Meteorological Department.

“South Gujarat & other areas may experience heavy rains.In afternoon, North Konkan region including Mumbai may experience light rain,” the IMD added.

Schools and colleges have been asked to remain shut by authorities amid indications of a fresh spell of heavy showers in the megapolis.

The city and its suburbs virtually have a public holiday on Wednesday with Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis advising people to stay back home unless there is an emergency.

“However, essential services and critical staff in the government will be on duty today,” Fadnavis said.

Mumbai Police said all roads are “normal all over Mumbai” except a little waterlogging at Sion.

Suburban train services on Western Railway resumed around midnight and those on the Central Railway are still struggling to come on track.

Trains started moving out of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus where hundreds of people were stranded overnight. Indian Navy personnel distributed breakfast and tea to the stranded passengers at the CSMT station.

The downpour flooded tracks of all three suburban railway system — Central, Western and Harbour lines — the city’s lifeline that carries more than seven million commuters every day.

Mumbai received 298 mm of rainfall over a period of 9 hours on Tuesday, nine times more rain than the average, an IMD official said.

The city recorded 298 mm of rainfall, the highest in a day in August since 1997.

Traffic on the Eastern and Western Express highways, the two key arterial roads in Mumbai, which was crawling at a snail’s pace, is slowly returning to normal.

Navy helicopters are on standby in view of heavy rains in Mumbai and its adjoining areas. Flood rescue teams and divers are also ready for deployment, a Navy spokesperson said.

Three persons, including two children were killed in Mumbai while a 32-year-old woman and a teenage girl died in rain-related incidents in Thane yesterday, police had said.

People in Mumbai opened their homes and hearts to strangers, offering assistance to those stranded in the floods.

In many offices, employees stayed back in the night as they could not catch trains and buses for getting home.

Under fire over the shoddy infrastructure in Mumbai, the Shiv Sena -- which heads the municipal corporation -- sought to blame rain gods for the “natural calamity”.

Although Mumbai is trying to build itself into a global financial hub, parts struggle to cope during annual monsoon rains.

Floods in 2005 killed more than 500 people in the city. The majority of deaths occurred in shanty town slums, which are home to more than half of Mumbai’s population.

Unabated construction on floodplains and coastal areas, as well as storm-water drains and waterways clogged by plastic garbage, has made the city increasingly vulnerable to storms.

Low-lying parts of the city with a population of more than 20 million people witnesses flooding almost every year but large-scale flooding of this magnitude hasn’t been witnessed in recent years.

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 10:21 IST

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