Heavy rains pour same old woes on Mumbai


- dEsPeraTe cRaNky -
Heavy rainfall and ubiquitous waterlogging caused sporadic accidents across the city on Saturday and sparked fears of a 26/7-like deluge. The rains, as always, brought along with them mishaps and tragedy.

In two separate incidents—on Friday evening—two people drowned at Vihar Lake and Tulsi Lake at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The body of an unidentified 50-year-old man was fished out of Vihar at 8pm on Friday. Officials are still searching for the body of a teenager who drowned in Tulsi, the same day. In another mishap, two nurses from Bhagwati Hospital were injured when a portion of the hospital ceiling collapsed on them.

Trains ran behind time during morning peak hours and some of the arterial roads faced horrid traffic jams. Commuters particularly complained of major water logging in low-lying areas such as Hindamata, Sewri, Mahim and parts of Sion and Chembur. While the island city received 69.3 mm of rains between 8.30 am and 8.30 pm on Saturday, eastern and western suburbs received 101.01 mm and 65.9 mm respectively in the 12-hour-period. Weather experts contended that the rains were not as bad as they appeared.

“The average rainfall was around 75 mm. But it seemed heavy because of the strong winds,” said Dr Kapil Gupta, an IIT professor who has been monitoring the monsoons for years. “A low pressure area has built in the Bay of Bengal for some days. Since it is a low pressure area and has less velocity, it has high moisture content. This area is extending towards the entire peninsula and that is causing the heavy rains in the country this week.”

Most parts of the city have experienced consistent rainfall since Wednesday night. The brief respite on Friday provided the proverbial calm before Saturday’s downpour. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted similar weather for Mumbai till Monday.

“Heavy rain at a few places with very heavy rain at isolated places would occur over Konkan-Goa on Sunday and Monday,” said a weather official. “Intermittent showers would occur in parts of the city and suburbs. While heavy to very heavy rain accompanied by strong gusty winds would occur in some other areas.”

Another met official added that the city is not likely to be flooded since the high tides are unlikely to coincide with the heavy rainfall. “The high tides are all going to be near midday for the next few days. So even if there is heavy rainfall, the city is not likely to be flooded.”