Mumbai rains: 22 killed in wall collapse in Malad, several flights, trains cancelled as city struggles to recover; IMD predicts heavy rains till 5 July
BMC additional commissioner Ashwini Joshi said an inquiry will be held into the Malad wall collapse in northern Mumbai.
Mumbai was on Tuesday paralysed by incessant rain, which left many parts of the financial capital waterlogged.
Twenty-one people died in a wall collapse in Malad while seven others lost their lives in rain-related incidents
In Pune, six labourers were killed and three injured after a wall collapsed in Ambegaon area late Monday night
Private weather agency Skymet said Mumbai is at 'serious risk of flooding' between 3 and 5 July
Mumbai was on Tuesday paralysed by incessant rain, which left many parts of the financial capital waterlogged. Twenty-two people died in a wall collapse in the city. Fourteen persons died in the rest of Maharashtra in rain-related incidents in the last 24 hours, officials said.
Heavy rains lashing Mumbai since Sunday threw rail, air and road traffic out of gear, with several trains and flights cancelled.
With IMD forecast of heavy rains for Tuesday, the authorities declared a holiday in the city and adjoining regions, asking people to avoid stepping out of their houses. The Mumbai University also postponed the exam of BSc Computer Science for first and second year students due to heavy rains, an official said.
Multiple incidents of wall collapse reported
Twenty two people were killed and 78 injured in a wall collapse in the northern suburb of Malad in Mumbai early Tuesday following heavy rains. The injured were admitted to civic-run hospitals and 15 of them were discharged after primary treatment, a senior civic official told reporters.
Efforts by rescue workers to get a 15-year-old girl out of the debris of the wall which collapsed in Malad, proved futile as she was brought out dead.
BMC additional commissioner Ashwini Joshi said an inquiry will be held into the Malad wall collapse and any official found guilty will be punished. Fadnavis made a similar announcement in the state legislature, announcing a high-level probe into the wall collapse.
The Malad wall collapse issue also figured in the state legislature on the last day of the monsoon session Tuesday, with former deputy CM Ajit Pawar seeking dissolution of the Shiv Sena-ruled BMC.
Two persons also died in another incident in Malad after they were locked up in a car flooded with rain water. One person was electrocuted in Vile Parle and a security guard was killed in a wall collapse in suburban Mulund.
A wall collapse in Kalyan in Thane district early Tuesday killed three people, officials said.
Seven killed in rain-related incidents in PUne and Buldhana. In Pune, six labourers were killed and three injured after a wall collapsed in Ambegaon area late Monday night. In Buldhana district, a 52-year-old woman was killed on the spot by a bolt of lightning.
Several flights, trains cancelled
Flight services at the city airport were severely affected Tuesday with airlines cancelling 203 serivces due to incessant rains and suspension of operations from the main runway due to the skidding of a SpiceJet aircraft Monday night, airport officials said.
Besides, another 350-odd flights — both arriving and departing — were delayed between 28-51 minutes (till 7 pm), as per the live flight tracking website Flightradar24.
"A total of 203 flights were cancelled at the Mumbai airport due to inclement weather and non-availability of the main runway for operations," an airport official said.
Mumbai airport authorities had earlier in the day said 52 flights were cancelled and another 55 diverted to the nearby airports till 10 am Tuesday due to "inclement weather" and partial closure of operations.
A senior official of the Western Railway said its suburban services are running between Churchgate and Virar even if the frequency was less.
Many long-distance trains of the central and western railway were either cancelled or terminated ahead of final destination due to heavy rainfall, the official said.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the Central Railway resumed its suburban services by running a few special trains in Up and Down directions, giving relief to commuters.
The Central Railway announced that in view of the forecast for heavy rains on Wednesday, it will run suburban trains as per the Sunday timetable.
Suburban services of Mumbai Division will run as per Sunday timetable on 3.7.2019. pic.twitter.com/zI9dfmtTdn
— Central Railway (@Central_Railway) July 2, 2019
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the BMC Disaster Management control room and took stock of the situation in Mumbai with civic officials. Fadnavis reviewed issues like railway traffic, road traffic movement, and areas where more focus and assistance is required, with BMC and Mumbai Police officials.
"As a precautionary measure and as per IMD advisory on heavy rains, we declared holiday Tuesday," Fadnavis said. "We need to remain alert for the next two days," he added.
Waterlogging reported from many areas
As rains continued to lash the city on Tuesday morning, water logging was reported at Airport Colony, Vakola Junction, Postal colony, near Chunabhatti Railway station and Vakola road, a BMC official said.
Over 1,000 people were evacuated from Kranti Nagar, Kurla, to prevent any untoward incidents due to an overflowing Mithi river, he said.
A Central Railway (CR) official said CR personnel, with the help of RPF jawans, rescued thousands of passengers stranded in local trains and served them tea, biscuits and other food items at stations.
Power utility companies have also suspended the supply in some suburban areas of Mumbai as a precautionary measure.
During the last 24 hours, from 8.30 am on 1 July to 8.30 am on 2 July, the BMC's weather stations recorded an average rainfall of 163 mm in the island city, 329 mm in the eastern suburbs and 309 mm in western suburbs.
The disaster management cell of BMC received over 3,593 complaints, including those about waterlogging, wall collapse and tree branch falling on the Helpline No 1916.
"The next two days are going to be very critical to us and our machinery is geared to face any eventuality during excessive rains," Joshi said.
All the 1,400 de-watering pumps of BMC are deployed at 53 flood-prone spots, including 22 chronic spots and assistant municipal commissioners have been asked to supervise their territory, she said.
Joshi blamed "geographic phenomena" for water-logging in the city and said the BMC's monsoon preparedness was up to the mark. "Heavy rains in a short period of time coupled with high tide in the city resulted in water-logging in several areas," the IAS officer said.
City 'at serious risk of flooding' in upcoming days
Private weather agency Skymet said Mumbai is at "serious risk of flooding" between 3 and 5 July. "Close to 200 mm or more rain per day is likely during this period, which could hamper normal life," it said.
"The next two days are going to be very critical to us and our machinary is geared to face any eventuality during excessive rains," Joshi said.
According to the website tide-forecast, the next high tide in Mumbai is expected at 11.31 pm on Tuesday.
With inputs from PTI
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