MUMBAI — At least two people were killed in rain-related accidents in Maharashtra's Palghar while road, rail and air traffic were severely hit as the country's commercial capital and many parts of the state were battered by incessant rains for the fourth consecutive day July 10, officials said. Mumbai has now been placed at high alert.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis informed the legislature in Nagpur that all agencies, including the Indian Navy and the Disaster Management Cell, are working hard to provide all assistance to Mumbaikars.
Anxious moments were experienced at the Mumbai Airport when an Air India Express flight IX-213 with 89 passengers overshot the runway by 10 feet while landing on alternate runway 14 at around 3:00 p.m., finally stopping on the paved stopway.
An AIX spokesperson said though the aircraft landed correctly and used maximum braking, it was unable to stop due to slippery conditions following heavy rains and stopped only on the paved stopway. There was no damage to the aircraft nor injuries to the passengers and crew.
An airport spokesperson said flight arrivals and departures were delayed by around 25 minutes with no cancelations or diversions.
The Juhu Airport in Vile Parle was flooded most of the day, halting all helicopter and small aircraft operations.
Mumbai's lifeline, the Western Railway and Central Railway suburban trains, were running late by 45-60 minutes due to waterlogged tracks, causing major delays to the morning commuters.
There were brief disruptions owing to waterlogging, signal failures, a crack in the tracks and other problems, but overall the services remained largely functional.
WR services on the critical Vasai-Virar sector were canceled. Services operated only between Churchgate and Vasai, as tracks lay submerged beneath 650 mm of water between Vasai-Virar, damaging electrical cables, signaling and other overhead equipment.
Several inbound and outbound long-distance trains, including the Rajdhani Express, August Kranti Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express and Duronto Express, among others, were either canceled, terminated en route or diverted to the Mumbai-Gujarat and Mumbai-New Delhi sectors.
WR spokesman G. Mahapurkar said over 16,500 food packets and water was distributed with the help of NGOs to thousands of stranded passengers at various stations and in 23 trains held up en route on the network and efforts were on to restore services after the waters receded.
Over 300 passengers and commuters stranded in stationery trains were rescued by teams in boats and taken to safety along with their luggage.
Education Minister Vinod Tawde July 10 advised all school and college principals to monitor the rainfall position in their areas and declare a holiday if necessary for the second consecutive day.
According to the India Meteorological Department, Mumbai recorded 165.8 mm rains July 10 morning plus 38 mm through the afternoon, while the suburbs received 184.3 mm during the morning and another 46 mm in the afternoon. More rains have been forecast for the next couple of days.
In the past 21 days, the city has received over 60 percent of its average seasonal total rains, said the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation.
At least 15 areas, including Dahisar, Borivali, Malad, Jogeshwari, Andheri, Santacruz, Mahim, Kurla, Parel, Dadar, Chembur, King Circle, Sion, Wadala, Masjid Bunder, Ghatkopar, Powai, Bhandup and Mankhurd, were heavily waterlogged, impeding traffic and pedestrian movement.
There were at least four minor instances of house wall crashes, 43 tree collapses, 30 short-circuit fires incidents but no casualties were reported.
In a rare move, Mumbai's famed dabbawalas suspended all tiffin box delivery operations July 10, while many private offices in south Mumbai permitted their employees to leave a few hours early to enable them reach to home safely.
In many areas of south-central Mumbai, disaster relief teams set out in inflatable rubber dinghies to guide people, shift them to safer locations or monitor the localities for any emergencies.
Massive traffic snarls were witnessed on the Eastern Express Highway, Western Express Highway and the Eastern Freeway all over the city.
Besides Mumbai, the adjoining districts of the Mumbai metropolitan region, including Thane, Palghar and Raigad, also saw heavy rains.
The worst-hit were Vasai, Nala Sopara, Virar, Ulhasnagar, Ambernath, Badlapur, and many villages and towns where thousands of homes were flooded or waterlogged with knee-deep waters.
The Disaster Management Unit of Palghar mounted a rescue operation in Mithagar coastal village and rescued 66 people from the flood fury, mostly senior citizens as well as a pregnant woman.
The body of a villager who died due to cardiac arrest July 10 was brought to a Palghar hospital by boat as ambulances could not reach the flooded village, an official said. Another villager who went missing near a waterfall was declared dead July 10.
Teams from the National Disaster Response Force, the State Disaster Response Force, fire brigades and other agencies were on high alert in Mumbai and all other coastal districts.