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Rains continue to lash Mumbai on Wednesday: Flights halted, rail and road transport hit

Rains continue to lash Mumbai on Wednesday: Flights halted, rail and road transport hit
Rains continue to lash Mumbai on Wednesday: Flights halted, rail and road transport hit

The MeT department has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall till tomorrow (Picture Courtesy: Firstpost, Nilesh Khare, Ruhan Hansuka)

Heavy rains continued to pound the city and suburbs for the second day today, disrupting flight operations at the Mumbai airport and delaying suburban train services in the financial capital.

This comes exactly a month after the Mumbai deluge of August 20.

As a precautionary measure, Education Minister Vinod Tawde late on Tuesday announced closure of all schools and colleges in Mumbai metropolitan region for the day.

According to an official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) disaster management cell, no untoward incident was reported after the incessant downpour.

“Several parts of the metropolis, including South Mumbai, Borivali, Kandivali, Andheri and Bhandup, received heavy rainfall. However, no untoward incident has been reported so far from any part of the city,” he said.

The Mumbai Police has warned of a high tide at 12.03 pm and 6.04 pm today.

From 8.30 am yesterday to 5.30 am today, the Colaba observatory recorded 210 mm rain, while the Santacruz observatory recorded 303.7 mm rain in the period, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

Flight operations at the Mumbai airport were affected due to heavy rains and low visibility.

The skidding of a SpiceJet aircraft on the main runway (09/27) last night compounded the problem further as it forced the private airport operator to shift operations to the secondary runway, which can carry out limited operations.

The SpiceJet Boeing 737 aircraft carrying 183 people overshot a wet runway while landing at the airport in rain-hit Mumbai and got stuck in the mud, officials said yesterday, adding that all passengers were safely evacuated.

As many as 56 flights were diverted to different airports till this morning as the main runway continued to be out of use due to the SpiceJet aircraft stuck there, an airport official said.

The main runway at the Mumbai airport is unlikely to be functional before this evening as the SpiceJet aircraft remained stuck on it.

The Mumbai airport operator has been given NOTAM (notice to airmen) for the main runway till 2 pm, which means the flight operations cannot be carried out on it till that time, a senior official of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said today.

The clearing of the main runway may take a longer time than expected and the operations there are unlikely to resume before evening, the official said.

Following the downpour, several airlines issued travel advisories to passengers.

Meanwhile, suburban train services were running late by 10 to 15 minutes, an official said. The trains witnessed lesser crowd today as many people proffered to remain indoors due to the heavy rain forecast.

According to Mumbai Police, the Harbour Line train services came to a halt for a brief period in the early hours today but later resumed.

Central Railway’s chief spokesperson Sunil Udasi said a few short-destination local trains had to be cancelled yesterday night to streamline the services.

“Since 10 pm yesterday, our services on the main and the harbour lines are running at regular intervals with lesser frequency and restricted speed in water-logging prone areas.

Our field staff and supervisors have been deployed to keep a tab on the water level,” Udasi said.

Senior railway officers were keeping a watch on the situation and the Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel were roped-in to manage any crowds at the stations, he said.

The trains on the Western Line were also running late by 10 to 15 minutes, according to an official of the Western Railway (WR).

The long distance trains which were regulated and stranded at various locations due to heavy water-logging at Nallasopara, Virar have been cleared, WR said in a statement.

Some intercity trains like Manmad-Mumbai Express, Gujarat Express, Bandra-Terminus Surat Intercity Express and Mumbai Central-Ahmadabad Shatabdi Express have been cancelled, as per the officials of the Central Railway and the Western Railway.

While several low-lying areas in central Mumbai like Parel, Dadar and some areas of the suburbs like Chembur, Kurla, Andheri, Malad, Borivali, Dahisar experienced water-logging, there was no dislocation on the roads and highways.

Vehicles were moving, though a bit slowly, on the city’s two major roads – the Eastern Express Highway and the Western Express Highway, the BMC official said.

Buses were running normal and there were no diversions in the routes, Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) spokesperson Hanumant Gofane said.

The ‘dabbawalas’ of Mumbai today cancelled their delivery of over two lakh tiffins to office-goers in the city in view of the disruption of suburban rail services after heavy rains.

The tiffin delivery men use suburban trains to ensure lunch boxes reach their destination on time.

An IMD official said that the Santacruz observatory recorded 225.3 mm rain from 8.30 am to 11.30 pm last night. This quantity falls under the weather category of ‘extremely heavy rain’ (204.5 mm and above).

The observatory recorded over 100 mm in just three hours (5.30-8.30pm), the official added.

Mumbai recorded its second highest September rain in a span of 12 hours yesterday.

The rainfall recorded at BMC’s automatic weather stations between 8 am and 10 pm included Nariman Point (88mm), Worli (110mm), Chembur (112mm), Mulund (94mm), Andheri (208mm), Bandra (128mm) and Borivali (204mm).

The MeT department has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall till tomorrow. As a result, all concerned agencies have been put on high alert to deal with any eventuality.

With agency inputs

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