Twenty-five dead in rain-related incidents in Mumbai; PM announces Rs Two lakh ex-gratia

Twenty-five people died and several others were injured in house collapses caused by landslides following incessant overnight rains in Mumbai on Sunday. The heavy rains led to severe water-logging, and disruption of suburban train services and vehicular traffic in the financial capital, officials said.

A fire official told news agency PTI that the retaining wall of the Bharatnagar locality in Mahul area (in Chembur) collapsed at 1 am.  Seventeen people died as the compound wall came crashing down on some houses located on the hillock following a landslide, while seven were injured and taken to the nearby Rajawadi hospital, he added.

In the Vikhroli suburb, seven people died as six shanties collapsed at 2.30 am, after a landslide following incessant overnight rains, a civic official said. Two persons were injured and were sent to a nearby hospital, he added.

A 16-year-old boy died after a forest department compound wall collapsed in suburban Bhandup, an 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. 50,000 would be given to those injured.

"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.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh expressed sorrow on the loss of lives and extended condolences to the affected families.

Local train services briefly suspended

The Western Railway and Central Railway suspended the suburban train services due to waterlogging on the tracks due to the overnight heavy downpour, railway officials said, adding the services were resumed in the morning. Many long-distance trains were terminated or regulated at various stations, officials said.

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.

A viral video showed a two-wheeler being dragged in water in an inundated street in Chinchpokli area.

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.

With inputs from PTI