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Roads to avoid, helplines to call: 10 things to know as Mumbai fights heavy rain

The Maharashtra government and BMC sounded high alert on Tuesday as torrential rains lashed Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, paralysing lifelines -- local train and bus services -- in the state capital.

mumbai Updated: Aug 29, 2017 17:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Mumbai weather,Mumbai rains,High tide in Mumbai
People walk on water-logged railway tracks in Mumbai on Tuesday.(REUTERS)

Heavy rains have lashed Mumbai for the past four days with no hope yet of a let-up, as the Meteorological department on Tuesday forecast very heavy showers over the next 24 hours. (LIVE updates)

The downpour has led to traffic snarls across the city besides affecting local train services and flight operations.

Here’s 10 things to know as Mumbai comes to a standstill:

1.More rains expected, stay home

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued an advisory asking citizens not venture out unless absolutely necessary. The civic body has warned of very heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours. On Tuesday afternoon, more than four areas in Mumbai have recorded more than 150 mm of rainfall. The Maharashtra government has decided to shut all its offices early and allowe employees to leave.

2. Helpline numbers

WhatsApp for traffic updates: 8454999999

Central Railway control room: 022-22620173

Western Railway control room: 022-23094064

BMC helpline: 1916

3.Mumbai’s lifeline goes under

All three suburban railway networks -- Central, Harbour and Western lines -- are suspended with tracks at several places, including Parel, Sion and Kurla, going under water. While officially, Central railway authorities have said trains are suspended on the main line between Parel and Kurla and on the Harbour line between Vadala Road and Kurla, commuters have confirmed that no trains are operating on these lines at all, and those that are are very slow. On the Western line, train were terminated at Andheri with services towards the city aborted in the afternoon. By 4 pm, Western railway had resumed.

A local train stranded at Curry Road railway station on the Central line at 4pm on Tuesday. ( Santosh Harhare/HT )

4. Roads to avoid

Traffic has been diverted at 25 places across the city while several flyovers and roads were shut, including Sion flyover, Milan and Andheri subway. Traffic on several arterial roads -- including Eastern Expressway, Santacruz-Chembur link, Western Expressway, SV Road between Bandra to Santacruz and DN Nagar and BMW junction stretch between Worli to Haji Ali -- are too slow or stuck.

5. Bandra-Worli sea link closed

For the first time since the sea link opened in 2009, authorities have decided to close it for traffic moving towards the city.

6. Water logging

Chronic flood spots in the city have fared worse than usual, such as Dadar, Hindmata, Parel, King Circle, Chembur, Sion and Andheri. The BMC has pressed 217 dewatering pumps into service.

A bus moves through a water-logged road in Mumbai on Tuesday. ( REUTERS )

7. High tide alert

With a high tide up to 3.29 m expected at 4.30 pm, the flooding in the city will only add to the chaos as authorities struggle to evacuate people from low-lying areas. A combination of high tide and heavy rainfall can push water into these areas, clogging the stormwater drains leading to more inundation.

8. Why the high rainfall

The heavy rainfall that Mumbai has been experiencing over the past few days has been caused by the movement of a low pressure area from Odisha to the west and central parts of the country. The weather bureau expects very heavy rain through Tuesday and Wednesday. The 152mm rain recorded at Colaba weather bureau, which covers south Mumbai, between 8.30am Monday and 8.30am Tuesday, is the highest 24-hour rainfall for the island city this year. There is no official statement yet on whether this is record rainfall for Mumbai since the 2005 deluge.

9. Flights delayed, diverted

Mumbai airport operations were affected by strong gusts of wind leading to flights delays by an average of 35 minutes. There has been seven ‘go-around’ (an aborted landing of aircraft when it is on final approach to the runway) and three diversions to Gujarat.

People walk along a flooded street in Mumbai during a heavy downpour on Tuesday. ( AFP )

10. Schools shut for Ganeshotsav

Most schools were shut because of Ganeshotsav. Those that were open had low attendance and some others were working for half a day. Parents were asked to pick up kids early.

First Published: Aug 29, 2017 17:42 IST