Mumbai floods: Ten dead in rain havoc, Mumbaikars begin picking up pieces of life

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Mumbai | Updated: August 31, 2017 9:13:24 AM

As Mumbaikars began picking up the pieces of their lives after yesterday's deluge that sank the city and its satellite towns in a sea of misery, at least 10 people were reported dead due to drowning and wall collapse, officials said on August 30th.

Mumbai, mumbai rains, rains in mumbai, mumbai floods, mumbai downpour, mumbai schools, mumbai traffic, devendra fadnavis BMC, shiv sena, mumbai condition, mumbai casualtiesA car is seen piled over another, presumably after being drifted by flood-water during Tuesday?s heavy downpour, at Shri Krishna Nagar in Borivali, Mumbai on Wednesday. (PTI)

As Mumbaikars began picking up the pieces of their lives after yesterday’s deluge that sank the city and its satellite towns in a sea of misery, at least 10 people were reported dead due to drowning and wall collapse, officials said on August 30th. Nine people were washed away in separate incidents in Mumbai, while two lost their lives due to drowning in adjoining districts of Palghar and Thane. Another man was killed when a wall came crashing down on him in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar.

Renowned gastroenterologist of Bombay Hospital Dr Deepak Amrapurkar has gone missing from near the Elphinstone Road station, and eyewitnesses claimed he drowned in a manhole in a flood street, police said.

58-year-old Amarapurkar had left for home last evening by his car but as the road was waterlogged he asked his driver to drop him near the Elphinstone Road station and started walking towards his residence.

“According to some eyewitnesses Amrapurkar fell into a manhole and police recovered his umbrella from near it,” said Sunil Deshmukh, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dadar Division.

After torrential rain swamped large parts of the Maximum City, paralyising road, rail and air services, life began returning to normal slowly with people stranded in offices, on railway platforms and stationary trains headed homewards.

Mumbai’s famed suburban railway system, which caters to over 60 lakh people a day, began crawling back to life this morning but operations were not fully restored yet. On the Central Railway’s Harbour and Main lines, local services were running very slow and getting held up at stations as tracks remain submerged at various points.

“Train services are running at least 10-15 minutes late on the Central suburban network. Even after starting late, they halt periodically between stations, thereby further increasing travel time,” Hussain Fatakdawala, a city based businessman, who travelled from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus to suburban Thane this evening, said.

Smita Gaikar, a corporate employee working at a firm in suburban Andheri, said she had to spend last night in office and resume work this morning without getting any rest.

“Since there was no mode of transport available last night, we all had to spend the night in office. To add to our woes, the government did not announce an official holiday August 30th. Our company asked us to work as well and leave for home only after completing our shift,” Gaikar said.

An official of the Western Railway said 19 long distance trains have been terminated.

The Santacruz observatory of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had registered 331.4 mm rainfall yesterday, the heaviest since the July 26, 2005 record of 944 mm, which had left a massive trail of death and destruction, with more than 500 people having lost their lives.

Educational establishments and government offices remained closed following a directive by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, facilitating restoration of vehicular traffic.

However, air services continued to be affected, with several flights cancelled or delayed, mainly due to difficulties faced by airlines’ crew and passengers in reaching the airport.

Private carrier Jet Airways cancelled 19 flights out of the city, including some on international routes. Its other flights were delayed by up to two hours.

Though Air India did not cancel any flight, its operations were delayed by around half-an-hour on an average. The airlines said though the situation was under control with improved visibility, it was witnessing operational delays due to non-availability of crew who got stuck in traffic as many parts of the city were still waterlogged.

No substantial rainfall has been reported from any part of the city or outskirts, and the morning was bright and skies looked less cloudy.

However, the respite may prove transient, with the weatherman forecasting “heavy to very heavy rainfall” in parts of Maharashtra over the next 24 hours. The state’s disaster management department has asked people to exercise caution during the period.

“There is a possibility of North Konkan and North Central Maharashtra receiving very heavy rainfall over the next 24 hours. Also, Mumbai and Thane district may receive heavy rainfall over the same period,” it said in a press release.

“Keeping the forecast by the India Meteorological Department in mind, people are advised to exercise caution,” it said.

As people struggled to get back on their feet following yesterday’s downpour, the Navy stepped in to provide succour to people stranded far away from their homes by opening community kitchens and food counters at various locations in the megapolis.

However, Mumbai’s famed ‘dabbawalas’, known for the clockwork precision with which they deliver over two lakh tiffins to office goers in the city, cancelled their operations because of the disruption of suburban rail services. Mumbai’s civic body’s transport wing BEST also ran additional services to help people reach their homes.

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