Heavy rains lash Mumbai, many parts of the city flooded

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Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Heavy rainfall continued in the city of Mumbai in India for the fourth consecutive day today, leading to water-logging in many areas of India's commercial capital and leading to the disruption of road and rail traffic. Operations at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport have been affected and many incoming flights are being diverted to either Ahmedabad or Goa. Those planes that are taking off are doing so 30-45 minutes behind schedule owing to poor visibility. Local commuter trains on the Western Line are running up to half-an-hour late while the Central and Harbour Lines have been shut down due to water-logging.

Vehicular traffic has been hit hard as several arterial roads in the city have been immersed in waist-deep water. S.V Road has been closed to commuters at this point, and cars are being diverted to Linking Road. Dahisar, Goregaon, Andheri, Khar, Hind Mata and the Milan Subway have also been flooded. There are huge traffic jams in several parts of the city and Mumbai Police Commissioner A.N.Roy has asked citizens to avoid going outdoors unless absolutely necessary. Suburbs in the north of Mumbai, from Borivali to Virar, have been the worst hit. Schools and junior colleges have been asked to declare a holiday. The first year junior college admissions, which were supposed to have taken place today, have been postponed till tomorrow.

The Powai Lake has begun to overflow and the Mithi River is fast reaching its danger-mark, which is a cause of great concern for the municipal corporation, which has rushed rescue teams to low-lying areas. The Meteorological Department, which recorded 121 mm of rainfall at the Colaba Observatory and 152 mm of rain at the Santacruz Observatory, has predicted more heavy rainfall over the next 72 hours. Last July, Mumbai was hit by 944 mm of rainfall in one day, a deluge in which hundreds were killed and the entire city was in a state of disarray for a week. Meteorologists however insist the present situation is much smaller in scale than the calamity of 26/7 last year.