Explained: Why is Mumbai facing heavy rainfall

Met Department has warned that there will be "heavy intermittent spells" in the next 24 to 48 hours on the western coast of Maharashtra, including Mumbai, and some other areas

Mumbai is facing heavy rainfall with the city coming to almost a standstill. While the city is already paralysed, the Met Department has warned that there will be “heavy intermittent spells” in the next 24 to 48 hours on the western coast of Maharashtra, including Mumbai, and some other areas.

The state government is closely monitoring the situation with the IMD office in Mumbai giving constant updates to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Maharashtra government.

Why such heavy rains?

The heavy rainfall that Mumbai is experiencing can be due to the presence of an off-shore trough which is running along the West Coast, say weathermen at Skymet. They also add that there is a cyclonic circulation which was over Madhya Maharashtra adjoining Gujarat region. Weathermen say that the system may move west towards Gujarat.

Mumbai Rains (Photo: IMD)

Mumbai Rains (Photo: IMD)

Worst affected areas

Heavy rains have affected adjoining Navi Mumbai and Thane regions also. As per Skymet, Colaba recorded 152 mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours, Santa Cruz recorded 126 mm of rainfall between 11:30 am and 02:30 pm on Tuesday. Dadar witnessed 115 mm of rain and Mahalaxmi 105 mm between 8:30 am to 11:30 am.

Flight disruptions

Many flights have been rescheduled at the Mumbai airport due to heavy winds and downpour since Tuesday morning. As per a PTI report, six to seven flights had to do go-arounds while landing, and four to five flights were diverted to nearby airports. There has been an average delay of 35 minutes at the Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

A Mumbai airport source told PTI: “Heavy rains and the strong winds have drastically reduced visibility to very low levels leading to diversions and go-arounds even though the main runway is open.”

Rail services hampered

Suburban rail services have also been hit. Services of Central Railway-run harbour line, which connects CSMT to Panvel have been indefinitely suspended since 11:30 am. Mumbai local has been facing the brunt due to water logging on several stations.

Forecast for Mumbai rains

Forecast for Mumbai rains (Courtesy: IMD)

Road traffic jammed

There has been heavy traffic on the Eastern Freeway, Dr BR Ambedkar road, Western Express highway, western suburbs at MIDC Jogeshwari, Marol Maroshi, Ghatkopar east, Arora junction, Kurla depot, and Bhu Daji Lad museum in Byculla. The Mumbai Police had tweeted that South-bound traffic towards Matunga has been diverted to Wadala due to water logging on Eastern Express Highway at Amar Mahal Junction, SG Barve Road and V N Purav Road in Chembur.

Bringing back the horrors of 2005 rains

The Santacruz weather station of the IMD has recorded 8-9 cm (80-90 mm) of rainfall from 8.30 am to nearly 11.30 am while the Colaba weather station recorded 15 cm to 20 cm (150-200 mm) of rainfall during the same time period. However the IMD, for now, is not drawing any parallels between the situation on July 26, 2005, when hundreds were killed in Mumbai rains. Back in 2005, Mumbai had recorded 94 cm (944 mm) of rainfall in a day between July 26-27.

Helpline numbers:

BMC helpline: 1916
Police helpline: 100
CR Control Room: 022-22620173
WR Control Room: 022-23094064,20370564

While the authorities are busy trying to tame the damage, some social media users are keeping the puns flowing:

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