Fifteen people were killed and several others feared trapped in the waterlogged areas of Chembur and Vikhroli after heavy rains pounded Mumbai on Sunday.
A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has reached the Bharat Nagar area in Chembur, where a compound wall collapsed on shanties after a landslide. A rescue operation is underway.
The NDRF recovered two bodies from the debris, while 10 were recovered by locals before the arrival of the NDRF personnel, news agency ANI quoted NDRF Inspector Rahul Raghuvansh as saying. "At least seven more people are feared trapped," he added.
In a separate incident, three hutment dwellers were killed as five shanties collapsed after a landslide occurred in suburban Vikhroli, news agency PTI reported, quoting a civic official. Two persons, who were injured in the incident which took place at 2.30 am, were sent to a nearby hospital, the official said.
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) announced that Rs Two lakh each would be given to the kin of the deceased from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF).
Rs. 2 lakh each from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of those who lost their lives due to wall collapses in Mumbai. Rs. 50,000 would be given to those injured.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 18, 2021
"Saddened by the loss of lives due to wall collapses in Chembur and Vikhroli in Mumbai. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. Praying that those who are injured have a speedy recovery," it quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi as saying.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh expressed sorrow on the loss of lives due to the wall collapse in Chembur and extended condolences to the affected families.
Anguished by the loss of precious lives due to a wall collapse in Chembur area of Mumbai city.
My thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover at the earliest.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) July 18, 2021
Local train services partially hit
The suburban train services on the Central Railway and Western Railway in the financial capital were suspended due to waterlogging on the tracks due to the overnight heavy downpour, PTI quoted railway officials as saying.
Following heavy rains, Western Railway announced the suspension of suburban services due to waterlogging at "multiple locations."
"@WesternRly Currently No local train services are running in both UP and DN direction till further notice due to waterlogging at multiple locations," the divisional railway manager of Western Railway's Mumbai division tweeted.
The Central Railway also said that due to waterlogging on the tracks at Dadar, Parel, Matunga, Kurla, Sion, Bhandup and other locations, train services on the main line have been suspended between CSMT and Thane. "CSMT to Vashi services, including Bandra/Goregaon suburban services, are also not working," said Shivaji Sutar, chief spokesperson of Central Railway.
The flooding on the tracks also affected several long-distance trains on both Central and Western Railway.
According to ANI, the Western Railway short terminated/regulated 17 trains as 'very heavy rainfall' led to waterlogging on the railway tracks at multiple locations in Mumbai and suburban areas. "All pumps are working at waterlogged areas," the Western Railway was quoted as saying.
The suburban services during the pandemic are restricted to emergency services staff and government employees. Before the pandemic, both Central Railway and Western Railway used to ferry over 75 lakh commuters daily on their over 3000 suburban services.
IMD issues red alert
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for Mumbai in the backdrop of heavy rains, a BMC official said.
Alerts by the IMD are colour-coded from green to red. A 'green' alert stands for 'no warning': no action needs to be taken by the authorities, and the forecast is of light to moderate rain. A 'red' alert stands for "warning", and asks authorities to "take action". An orange' alert indicates that the authorities are expected to be prepared.
A sudden change in climatic conditions led to Mumbai witnessing over 100 mm rainfall in six hours, the IMD said in an early morning bulletin. It also changed the rains forecast for the city from orange to red alert.
The IMD said that till 6.30 am on Sunday, Mumbai and adjoining areas received over 120 mm rainfall in the preceding 12 hours.The bulletin issued at 3 am said IMD recorded 213 mm rainfall at Santacruz, 197.5 mm at Bandra and 174 mm at Colaba in the city.
The IMD said that Mumbai would receive heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places with extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places. Extremely heavy rainfall means precipitation of more than 204.5 mm in 24 hours, while heavy rainfall ranges between 115.6 mm to 204.4 mm rainfall, as per the IMD.
The rain fury reminded some Mumbaikars of the 24-hour rainfall figure of 944 mm on 26 July, 2005.