Mumbai rain: Several low lying areas are water logged after heavy rain in Mumbai today
Mumbai: Mumbai was hit by heavy rain this morning as monsoon arrived, inundating low lying areas and disrupting local trains and flights. At least 20 domestic flights have been delayed and one cancelled; 12 international flights are also late, while two stand cancelled. Local trains are running 15-20 minutes late, officials said. "Parts of a wall fell on the tracks this morning. It was removed immediately and for some time, trains on the down slow line were diverted to the fast line," Central Railways spokesperson Sunil Udasi said. Heavy rain has been forecast in Mumbai till tomorrow.
Here's your 10-point cheat sheet on the Mumbai rain:
Several roads in Mumbai are waterlogged. Photos posted on social media by motorists show vehicles either stuck in water or moving slowly to avoid submerged potholes. On Elphinstone Road, a major thoroughfare for people going to work in south Mumbai, people complained that waterlogging is a chronic problem in the area.
The Mumbai Police have asked people to drive only if necessary. To drive home their point on safety during rain, the police tweeted a photo of a vehicle that overturned after skidding on a wet road in south Mumbai's Lower Parel.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC, India's richest civic agency, has kept teams on alert to help people if there is severe flooding. It has asked schools to keep their gates open and let people take shelter in the buildings if the need arises. The weekend leave of all senior officers of the BMC has been cancelled.
Indian Navy personnel are on standby in parts of Mumbai that see heavy flooding during rain to rush in for relief and rescue if they are called. The authorities said they are trying their best to avoid flooding by pumping out excess water, but some low-lying areas are always vulnerable.
Weather forecasters have predicted the Mumbai rain this time might get worse than the heavy rain that the city saw in 2005, when thousands of people were stranded on the road and many walked for a long distance back home on a single evening.
"As rainfall activity is likely to enhance from 8th June with further increase on 9th June, people are advised to abstain from outdoor activities as much as possible during the period and also watch for the weather," the Regional Meteorological Centre in Mumbai said.
Fishermen have also been warned against going too far out into the sea. Three teams of the National Disaster Response Force or NDRF are already at Parel, Mankhurd (for eastern suburbs) and Andheri Sports Complex (for western suburbs). They are equipped with walkie-talkies and flood rescue material.
"Rainfall intensity (in Mumbai) is expected to reduce by tomorrow. However, on and off showers will continue during late night early morning. Rains may take a break of about two to three hours during late morning but will commence around the afternoon hours," private weather forecaster SkymetWeather said.
Heavy rain has also been forecast in coastal Karnataka, Goa and south Maharashtra. A sudden heavy rain had flooded Mangaluru in Karnataka over two weeks ago.
In neighbouring Goa, red flags have been put up at beaches to warn people about the dangers of wading in or swimming in the sea during rain. Monsoon hit Goa yesterday.