Heavy rains cripple Mumbai, three killed (Lead)

July 1st, 2008 - 5:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, July 1 (IANS) It was monsoon mayhem once again in this city Tuesday as several areas were submerged, trains ran late and at least three people died in torrential rains. The heavy downpour through Monday night took its toll on the office rush hour in the morning, throwing life completely out of gear. With chaos reigning on the streets, civic authorities were compelled to issue a warning asking Mumbaikars not to step out of their houses as a precautionary measure.

According to the meteorological department, the suburbs of Santacruz recorded 142.8 mm of rainfall while south Mumbai recorded 200 mm till 8.30 a.m. Heavy rains and thunderstorms have been forecast for the next couple of days.

A 15-year-old youth was swept into a flooded drain in the northwest suburb of Kandivli, while two people were killed when a wall collapsed onto them in Thane district, police said.

Though the suburban railways, considered the city’s lifeline, continued to limp along, services were delayed and often disrupted.

According to a Central Railway spokesperson, several stations like Ghatkopar, Kurla, Vidyavihar, Matunga and Sion were waterlogged.

“Around noon, we managed to operate one service every 15 minutes or so,” he said.

The situation was slightly better on the Western Railway where services were operated with 20-30 minutes delay. The suburban network ferries over 7 million commuters every day.

The impact was felt by office-goers and others who use the trains from the suburbs to reach their destinations in south Mumbai. A large number of offices in this financial capital reported thin attendance.

All flights at Mumbai airport were suspended for 15 minutes at 8.15 a.m. due to poor weather conditions, airport officials said. Though services resumed soon after, delays were reported due to congestion.

Almost all low-lying areas like the Milan Subway in Santacruz West, an arterial traffic junction, and the Malad subway in north Mumbai as well as Wadala, Mahim, Worli and Parel in south Mumbai were completely submerged.

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