108 flights cancelled in rain-hit Mumbai

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 21 Sep 2017 09:10:34



TORRENTIAL rain battered Mumbai and its suburbs for the second day on Wednesday, causing massive disruption in flight operations, delaying suburban train services and forcing a large number of people to stay indoors, officials said.

However, no deaths or major damage to property were reported. Schools and colleges in Mumbai metropolitan region were ordered closed in view of heavy rains. “Several parts of the metropolis, including South Mumbai, Borivali, Kandivili, Andheri and Bhandup, received heavy rainfall.

However, no untoward incident has been reported so far from any part of the city,” an official of the BMC, the city’s civic body, said. Air services at the Mumbai airport were hit badly, with 108 flights cancelled and another 51 diverted to nearby airports till Wednesday morning due to heavy rain and closure of the main runway after a Spice Jet aircraft skidded, overshot the runway and got stuck in mud, blocking it, an airport official said. Efforts are on to tow the aircraft away and clear the runway for operations. Following the downpour, several airlines issued travel advisories to passengers. The Mumbai airport, the country’s second busiest after Delhi’s IGI airport, handles 930 flights per day. An average of 48 aircraft land or take off every hour.

The city’s famed suburban railway system, which caters to about 70 lakh passengers every day, was also in a mess, with trains running late. Traffic on the low lying harbour line was suspended for a brief period but resumed. Fewer people were seen travelling by trains as they preferred to remain indoors following the forecast about the downpour.

An IMD official said that the Santacruz observatory recorded 225.3 mm rain from 8.30 am to 11.30 pm last night. Anything about 204.5 mm is categorised as ‘extremely heavy rain’, he said. The IMD, which had on Tuesday evening forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall in parts of Mumbai region for Wednesday, in its forecast issued on Wednesday afternoon, said the city would receive intermittent rains. It said there would be heavy rainfall at a couple of places in the city. From 8.30 am on Tuesday to 5.30 am on Wednesday, the Colaba observatory recorded 210 mm rain, while the Santacruz observatory recorded 303.7 mm rain in period, according to the IMD.