21 Dead In Mumbai As City Receives Highest 48-Hour Rainfall In 10 Years

With heavy rainfall predicted over the next 24-48 hours, Mumbai’s ordeal, arising out of poor preparation by the city administration is likely to continue
Mumbai Water Blockage
File Photo

21 people have died in Mumbai as of Tuesday evening after a compound wall collapsed in Malad, a western suburb locality in Mumbai, in what is perhaps the first instance of rain-related deaths in the city due to the monsoons this year. The city has witnessed four days of incessant rain, receiving 540 mm in the last 48 hours alone, which is the highest in a decade.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), followed by the Government of Maharashtra declared a public holiday in order to keep citizens off the roads and reduce the pressure on public transport.

The rainfall lash has caused mass water-logging, train and flight schedules being hit, educational institutes being shut to foreign consulates rescheduling commitments - the monsoon brought the city to a standstill.

BOOM recaps all the major monsoon-related happenings till now.

Wall Collapse Kills 21, Edu Institutes Shut, Maha Declares Public Holiday

In the early hours of July 2, at around 2 AM, a wall collapse in the Malad East locality of Mumbai has killed 21 by late evening, as reported by Indian Express here.

Maharashtra CM Devendra Phadnavis gave a statement earlier in the day reporting 13 deaths, with 40 injured. Media reports suggest that they were mostly slum-dwellers.

The government has announced a compensation of ₹5 lakh for the deceased.

Similar incidents are also coming in from Pune, where 6 labourers are feared dead after a compound wall of the Singhad Group of Institutes reported caved in a little after 1 am.

These events preceded the declaration of a public holiday by the Government of Maharashtra for the day of July 2, with the government advising citizens not to step out unless there was an emergency.

However, late in the night of July 1, Education Minister of Maharashtra, Ashish Shelar, declared a holiday for schools and colleges within Mumbai city and its outlying districts.

Heavy Showers Predicted In Mumbai And Neighboring Districts

The IMD has maintained an advisory of the city receiving heavy to very heavy rainfall in the next 24 - 48 hours, an advisory endorsed by the BMC.

According to the IMD's definition, it is 51%-75% likely that city will receive "heavy to very heavy rain at isolated places", with rainfall measuring anything between 64mm to 200mm though Friday July 5. Neighboring Thane and Palghar districts have it worse though, with "extremely heavy rain at isolated places" expected over two days, measuring above 205mm with the same likelihood.

Flights And Trains Affected

Mumbai locals, known for being chronically crippled during the monsoons, were the worst hit. While trains are not moving beyond the outskirts of Thane on the Central line of the local network on the early morning of July 2, trains were not moving on the Western line of the local network towards Virar. Full services were restored only late morning on the Western lines, although they would be slowed down in these regions due to limited visibility.

This is a positive development from the early hours of July 2 and all of July 1, seeing platforms and tracks fully submerged.

Rail routes along the western coast and those going into the Indian hinterland on the western lines were being rescheduled or halted prematurely. Premium trains, such as the Mumbai Ahmedbad Shatabdi Express and the Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani Express are being delayed on July 2.

Around 54 flights were reportedly diverted to adjoining airports such as Goa, with 52 flights cancelled.

There was even an incident of a SpiceJet flight from Jaipur to Mumbai overshooting the runway, with all the passengers safe, as confirmed by the airport.

Navy Battles City Waterlogging

The central areas of Mumbai, namely the localities of Wadala, Sion, Dadar and Kurla are highly prone to water logging and flooding due to excessive monsoons, with flooding in the area. Stills of waterlogging were reported, with water going into residences and police stations earlier in the day.

While no concrete reports yet exists of the magnitude of this waterlogging, the Navy sprung into action today, helping out with relief activity in Kurla.

Mumbai is highly prone to monsoon related damage, with deaths and damage to property being a common occurrence every monsoon season. On August 15, 2018, it was reported that on an average, a citizen lost his life every two days during the monsoons that year.

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