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Heavy downpour brings Mumbai to a halt, 28 killed

Last updated on: July 02, 2019 23:51 IST

Mumbai was paralysed on Tuesday by incessant rain, which left many parts of the financial capital waterlogged and 22 dead in a wall collapse and four others died in different rain-related incidents in the city.

IMAGE: Fully submerged railway tracks in Wadala area of Central Mumbai. Most of the areas in the financial capital were heavily water-logged due to incessant rains since Sunday evening. Photograph: Sahil Salvi

Whereas 14 persons died in 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.

IMAGE: Commuters wade through a water-logged street during heavy monsoon rain at Ghatkopar, in Mumbai. Photograph: Shashank Parade/PTI Photo

 

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.

22 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 in Mumbai.

IMAGE: A view of a waterlogged street following heavy rain at Santacruz in Mumbai. Photograph: Mitesh Bhuvad/PTI Photo

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.

Two persons died 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.

In Pune, six labourers were killed and three injured after a wall collapsed in Ambegaon area late Monday night. A wall collapse in Kalyan in Thane district early Tuesday killed three people, officials said.

In Buldhana district, a 52-year-old woman was killed on the spot by a bolt of lightning.

IMAGE: Officials stand at the spot where the wall collapsed in Mumbai's Malad area. Photograph: Prashant Waydande/Reuters

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation 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.

As rains continued to lash the city, 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.

WATCH: NDRF officials rush to site of wall collapse in Mumbai's Malad area

At around 2 am Tuesday, a compound wall in Pimpripada area of Malad collapsed, trapping people living in shanties adjacent to the wall.

In the incident in Kalyan, the wall of an Urdu school behind Durgai Fort collapsed around 1 am, killing three people in the hutments adjacent.

A 45-year-old watchman died after the compound wall of a housing society collapsed on him following heavy rains in suburban Mulund, police said on Tuesday.

The incident occurred late night on Monday in Madella Town society in Mulund (west).

IMAGE: A road caved in Chandivali near Powai. Photograph: Sahil Salvi

The watchman, identified as Gambhir Kari Singh, was rushed to hospital where he was declared dead before admission, a police official said.

In another rain-related incident, a 22-year-old man died after he suffered electric shock in the early hours of Tuesday outside his residence in suburban Vile Parle.

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Gopal Jha, an official added.

IMAGE: The wall collapsed on hutments in Pimpripada area of Malad East due to heavy rainfall. Photograph: Prashant Waydande/Reuters

Even as the BMC has claimed to have taken precautions not to leave manholes uncovered, at least two people alleged that they had a near escape from drowning.

Tanmay Nanda, a former jouranlist, shared a video of an open manhole near Veera Desai Road.

‘So I fell into this open manhole on the sidewalk on Veera Desai road (opposite Country Club) a little while ago. Managed to break fall and pull myself out. Thanks @mybmc #mumbairains #mumbaimonsoon #manhole,’ he tweeted.

WATCH: Andheri Subway in suburban Mumbai is closed due to flooding

Ashish Ghorpade, also a media professional, shared a similar story. He almost fell into an open manhole near L & T Company in Andheri (East) while on assignment, he said.

Sharing a video, Ghorpade claimed that he fell into the manhole and went neck-deep into water within a fraction of second.

"But fortunately, I came out of the manhole and my life was saved," he said.

WATCH: Water enters Saki Naka Police Station in Mumbai

On June 27, ahead of the monsoon, the BMC had cautioned people not to open a manhole to avoid a tragic incident such as the horrific death of Dr Deepak Amarapurkar, a well-known gastroenterologist, two years ago.

Amrapurkar, 58, fell into an open manhole near Prabhadevi while walking down a flooded road on August 29, 2017. His body was found in a drain in Worli, two km away.

The BMC in a release last week said that it has taken several precautionary measures including fixing protective grills on manholes in flood-prone areas.

IMAGE: People wade through a waterlogged road during the monsoon rain in Mumbai. Photograph: ANI Photo

Authorities declared Tuesday as a public holiday in Mumbai and adjoining Thane as the Meteorological Department forecast heavy rains for the day.

Mumbai University also postponed the exam of BSc Computer Science for first and second year students due to heavy rains, an official 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.

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.

WATCH: Heavy downpour results in water-logging in several areas in Mumbai

Power utility companies have also suspended the supply in some suburban areas of Mumbai as a precautionary measure.

The heavy downpour also forced Fadnavis to cancel his scheduled ground breaking function of construction of a new building for MLAs.

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 on Tuesday, with former deputy CM Ajit Pawar seeking dissolution of the Shiv Sena-ruled BMC.

IMAGE: Traffic came to a halt owing to the heavy rain. Photograph: ANI Photo

Monsoon was active over the entire north Konkan belt, including Mumbai, with IMD predicting heavy to very rainfall over most places and extremely heavy rain at a few places.

On the IMD's forecast, Joshi said the intensity of the rainfall is likely to get intense during the next 24 hours in Mumbai and suburbs.

During the last 24 hours, from 8.30 am on July 1 to 8.30 am July 2, 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, she said.

IMAGE: Commuters walk on waterlogged railway tracks after getting off a stalled train during heavy monsoon rains in Mumbai. Photograph: Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters

The disaster management cell of BMC received over 3,593 complaints, including those about water logging, 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.

IMAGE: A fire brigade official cuts a tree which fell due to heavy monsoon rain, at Ghatkopar in Mumbai. Photograph: Shashank Parade/PTI Photo

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," IAS officer said.

IMAGE: People walk on the waterlogged railway tracks during heavy monsoon rain at Tilak Nagar station in Mumbai. Photograph: Shashank Parade/PTI Photo

Late on Tuesday afternoon, the Central Railway resumed its suburban services by running a few special trains in Up and Down directions, giving relief to commuters.

Private weather agency Skymet said Mumbai is at 'serious risk of flooding' between July 3 and 5.

"Close to 200 mm or more rain per day is likely during this period, which could hamper normal life," it said.

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