As Mumbai sleeps, 33 killed in rain, road, rail, air traffic affected
At least 33 people died in separate incidents as rain wreaked havoc in Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region, affecting road, rail and air traffic for several hours since midnight, BMC Disaster Control said here on Sunday.
According to IMD Mumbai, as Mumbai snoozed peacefully, the skies suddenly opened with thunderstorms, lightning and heavy cloudbursts ranging between 197 mm to 235 mm in some areas.
Incessant rain that lasted for 4-5 hours led to heavy waterlogging in many low-lying areas of Mumbai and MMR, besides road, rail and air traffic being disrupted for hours.
In the worst tragedy, a retaining wall of the BARC campus here at Vashi Naka, New Bharat Nagar in Chembur area collapsed around 1 pm, crushing several houses and burying many people under mud and debris.
As of evening, at least 19 people were reported dead and some are still missing and sniffer dogs have been deployed by the rescue team to trace them.
In another incident, at least 10 people were killed when some huts collapsed in the slums of Suryanagar in Vikhroli East.
A 16-year-old boy, Soham M. Thorat, was killed when a wall of his house collapsed in the early hours of Sunday, while a 26-year-old youth, Salim M. Patel, suffered electrocution in his sweet shop in Andheri West, while another drowned in Thane in a ditch.
Around 12 others who were injured in all these incidents have been taken to various hospitals and are undergoing treatment, their condition is said to be stable.
Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik, Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray and Leader of Opposition Pravin Darekar, senior citizens and police officials reached these places to oversee the rescue and relief operations.
President Ram Nath Kovind expressed grief over the tragedies, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray condoled the loss of lives and announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh and Rs 5 lakh respectively.
Speaking to the media, Malik said that a retaining wall of the BARC campus here collapsed due to heavy rains, causing a landslide on the small hill, which buried under about a dozen huts, resulting in a massive tragedy.
Thackeray said that the government would extend all possible help to the victims and the injured, no politics should be done on calamities.
Darekar accused the BMC of lapses and not being concerned about the safety of the people, while Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Preeti Sharma-Menon slammed the civic body for making false claims of monsoon preparedness.
Shocked locals narrated how rescue efforts were hampered by heavy flooding, mud, a narrow road that prevented fire brigade, police and medical vans from reaching the affected places. This forced rescue teams to work in groups to manually move the mound of rubble to locate victims.
Till this evening, the BMC’s gauge recorded 177 mm of rain in South Mumbai, 205 mm in the eastern suburbs and 195 mm in the western suburbs, and the IMD has predicted heavy rains with strong winds in the next five days.
CM Thackeray ordered officials to pay special attention to hilly areas, low-lying areas prone to landslides or floods and to take appropriate measures to prevent tragedies, while the BMC will work round the clock to monitor developments.
People reported waist-deep water in several areas and flood waters entered ground floor houses or shops in vulnerable or low-lying areas.
The rains, which began around midnight, continued almost non-stop with waterlogging or flooding in most parts of Mumbai, except in parts of Raigad, Thane, Palghar coastal Konkan districts, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.
According to a spokesperson, due to inclement weather, the operations of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport were suspended for nearly four hours from 12.42 am to 5.24 am, resulting in 9 flights being diverted to other locations.
The rains affected suburban train services, inundating WR lines at Nalla Sopara and Virar, and submerging CR tracks at Dadar, Sion, Kurla, Parel, Chunabhatti and Tilaknagar.
As the water level receded from the railway tracks by 7 am, Western Railway resumed services between Churchgate and Borivali and CR resumed services on the Mainline and Harbor Line.
The BMC said 11 incidents of house/wall accidents, waterlogging or flooding occurred in at least 31 localities across Mumbai, including regular hotspots in the western suburbs and the east-west subway.
Although, being a Sunday, the repercussions of the rain were not felt much for travelers as most people stayed indoors, but nature enthusiasts like Nitin Sundarji Shah took a morning walk to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP). ) stepped in carefully.
After flood water entered the Bhandup water treatment plant, the BMC declared water scarcity in some parts of the city till the repairs were completed and urged people to use water sparingly.
IMD Mumbai has warned of more rain during the next few days, including some very heavy rains, for which BMC, NDRF, Police, Fire Brigade and other agencies are on high alert in Mumbai and the entire Coastal Konkan region. are on.
(Maybe Najmi can be contacted at: [email protected])
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