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Rain brings Mumbai to its knees again

Of this, 210 mm fell between 2.30 am and 4 am. Between 8.30 am and 5.30 am, Santacruz received 14.1 mm of rain…reports Asian Lite News

Life was thrown out of gear on Monday in Mumbai as it received over 300 millimetres of rain within 24 hours till Monday morning — its first heavy rainfall of the season, with traffic chaos and train cancellations across the city. Schools were closed and the government issued an advisory urging people to avoid unnecessary travel.

A 72-year-old woman was killed in a short-circuit incident reported in Santacruz, while another woman was severely injured in Belapur while attempting to board an overcrowded train on the Harbour Line.

The downpour that began around Sunday midnight intensified during the early Monday with Indian Meteorology Department’s (IMD) Santacruz observatory recording 268 mm of rainfall in 24 hours ending at 8.25 am on Monday — the highest single-day rainfall for July since 2019.

Of this, 210 mm fell between 2.30 am and 4 am. Between 8.30 am and 5.30 am, Santacruz received 14.1 mm of rain.

The 268 mm recorded at Santacruz on Monday marked the second-highest single-day July rainfall in a decade. The highest was 375.2 mm on July 2, 2019, with the all-time record of 944.2 mm during the infamous July 26, 2005 deluge.

IMD’s coastal observatory at Colaba recorded 84 mm rain by 8.25 am on Monday, with an additional 101.8 mm between 8.30 am and 5.30 am. The weather department defines very heavy rainfall as 115.6 mm to 204.4 mm within a 24-hour period.

Due to the intensified rainfall from midnight on Monday, a yellow alert declared by the IMD for Mumbai in its five-day forecast issued Sunday, was upgraded to a “red alert” until 8.30 am on Tuesday. “The sudden intense rainfall was due to an offshore trough that intensified after 12.30 am on July 8, ” said an IMD official on Monday.

Flash floods were reported in multiple areas Monday, with suburban pockets receiving over 300 mm rainfall. As per BMC’s Automatic Weather System, Powai recorded 330 mm, followed by Bhandup at 315 mm, Andheri (East) at 253 mm, Bandra Kurla Complex at 232 mm, and Chembur at 226 mm. Other parts of Mumbai Metropolitan Region recorded comparatively lower rainfall.

The heavy rainfall severely impacted railway services, with services on the Harbour and Central Lines temporarily halted and delays of up to 40-45 minutes on the Western Line. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport cancelled 51 flights by Monday afternoon due to adverse weather conditions.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde posted on X: “…daily life has been disrupted with traffic congestion and railway disruptions. Authorities are working to clear water from tracks and restore normalcy. Emergency services are on high alert. Citizens are advised to venture out only if necessary…”

Traffic snarls were reported across Mumbai, particularly in the western suburbs, where vehicles were stuck on waterlogged roads. Andheri and Malad subways were closed for vehicular movement due to inundation.

While there was a low tide around 7 am on Monday, high tide was reported from 2 pm. The convergence of high tide and heavy rainfall delayed water receding in some areas until around 6 pm.

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