Monsoon hits Mumbai with a bang; flights, trains, road traffic hit

Mumbai, June 9 (IANS) The monsoon officially arrived here on Saturday and hit the city and other parts of Maharashtra with full fury, disrupting flights, the suburban train system and road traffic, besides claiming two lives, officials said.

The Indian Meteorological Department has forecast heavy rains with thundershowers in the city and suburbs over the next 48 hours, with isolated extreme heavy rainfall in some areas till Monday.

On Saturday, according to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the city was deluged with 76 mm rains till this evening (6 p.m.), and the eastern and western suburbs received 28 mm and 32 mm respectively.

In adjoining Thane, one person was electrocuted and another was killed in a lightning strike at Uttan in Bhayander.

There were at least two incidents of building crashes here as waterlogging was reported from several parts in Mumbai.

At least two firemen were injured when a portion of a dilapidated building on fire suddenly crashed in south Mumbai’s Fort area earlier this morning.

Four persons sustained minor injuries when the roof slab of a four-storeyed building Munji House crashed at Prabhadevi in central Mumbai late on Friday.

Flights at the Mumbai airport were affected, with Jet Airways announcing delays of around 40 minutes for departures and 20 minutes for arrivals due to congestion and bad weather till 3 p.m.

With a thunderstorm warning forecast over the Delhi Airport, more flight disruptions were expected in Mumbai later on Saturday.

The BMC said despite the heavy rains, flooding was prevented in even the most flood-prone zones in the city because of corrective works carried out in 120 areas.

Waterlogging was reported in parts of central Mumbai like Dadar east, Parel, Sion, Kings Circle and surroundings, with water entering low-lying homes and even the Byculla Police Station which functioned with over six inches of water inside the premises.

One area – the congested Mazagaon in south Mumbai – received a whopping 120 mm rains, resulting in flooding in the residential and commercial zones there.

The flooding resulted in diversions being implemented to prevent traffic snarls, even as vehicular movement was slowed down all over the city.

While the suburban train services on the Central Railway were delayed by around 15 minutes, the services on Western Railway remained largely unaffected by the rains.

In the neighbouring Navi Mumbai, heavy rains with gusty winds uprooted more than a dozen trees leading to huge traffic jams and hampering movement in different parts of the satellite city.

Since Friday night, the coastal districts of Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Raigad, Thane and Palghar also continued to be lashed by heavy rains as the monsoon spread wings across the state bringing relief from the sultry heat experienced in the past few weeks.

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