After a relative lull for two days, Mumbai and the outskirts of Maharashtra is set to witness intense rainfall on Wednesday due to a depression over the Bay of Bengal with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issuing red alert for adjoining areas like Pune, Palghar and Raigad districts.
The weather agency said that a depression over northwest Bay of Bengal is likely to deepen in the next 24 hours. IMD officials said that this deep depression, in association with an active Arabian Sea, will cause isolated extremely heavy rainfall over the ghat areas of Madhya Maharashtra, Konkan and Goa, among other regions, over the next three to four days.
On Tuesday, IMD predicted light to moderate rains for Mumbai, and heavy rains in isolated places in adjoining Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts.
It had also alerted Pune, Satara, Nashik, Kolhapur, Palghar and Thane districts with heavy rain expected till Thursday (8 August) according to The Indian Express.
Officials at the IMD stated that there were at least three weather systems that were causing such heightened rainfall in Maharashtra. They had also issued a red alert for Pune on 7 to 8 August.
In Pune, schools and colleges remained closed on Tuesday as heavy rainfall in the city forced the release of water from dams into rivers in the district, a senior official said. District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said the situation remained critical, and the decision to extend the holiday for educational institutions was taken for the safety of students.
According to The Hindu, the city chapter of the Forum for IT Employees (FITE) had urged the Pune District Collector to issue an advisory to IT companies to either ask employees to work from home or declare a holiday in wake of the emergency situation on Tuesday.
Traffic police had shut six bridges over Mula and Mutha rivers as a precautionary measure.
According to The Times of India, on Monday, the rising water levels in the Mula, Mutha and Pavana rivers forced traffic police to close six of the 30 bridges in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad – Rajiv Gandhi bridge from Aundh to Sangvi, Old Sangvi bridge, Dapodi-Bopodi bridge, Old Holkar bridge, Baba Bhide bridge and Tilak bridge.
Pune Mayor Mukta Tilak said over 600 families had been shifted from low-lying areas since Sunday to various schools.
In Sangli, which is one of the five districts that are part of western Maharashtra's Pune Division, the water level in Krishna and Varana rivers was rising due to heavy rains, District Collector Abhijeet Chaudhary had said on Monday.
Due to flooding following incessant rains in Kolhapur, around 10,000 people were forced to leave their homes and shift to safer places.
The national highway between south Kolhapur and Belgaum in Karnataka was shut for vehicular traffic due to water-logging in the area, Kolhapur Superintendent of Police Abhinav Deshmukh told PTI.
"On Monday, we closed one side of the national highway. However, as rains increased, we had to shut the entire national highway in the early hours of Tuesday," he said. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), fire brigade, local administration and police have been roped in for help as some rivers in the district are flowing above the danger mark, he added.
"An Army column (comprising around 60 personnel) has been summoned from Pune. They are likely to join the rescue operation in the district soon," the official said.
According to reports, around 17 trains, including the intercity express trains between Mumbai and Pune, had been cancelled due to rains on Monday. Central Railway officials said that work on different tracks along many sections is going on as they are trying to restore normalcy.
Anupam Kashyap, head of weather, IMD, Pune, told The Times of India, "A low-pressure area has formed over north Bay of Bengal and the adjoining coastal areas of Bangladesh and West Bengal. This system is likely to get stronger during the next 48 hours, affecting all of Maharashtra." Some other reasons attributed to the rainfall in the state include a monsoon trough in the southern side and another trough from south Gujarat to the centre of the low-pressure area passing via north Maharashtra.
"As far as Pune is concerned, especially the ghat areas, there is a heavy to very heavy rain warning for the next five days. For Pune city, there is moderate to heavy rain warning in isolated areas. Tomorrow onwards, for Pune city, light to moderate rain is expected over next two to three days, with the intensity set to increase on 7 to 8 August," Anupam Kashyap had said on Monday.
Pune had exceeded its average monthly rainfall for August of 117.5 mm in just five days, till 8.30 am on Monday, as it received 132.5 mm of rainfall.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Aug 08, 2019 11:55:35 IST