Gusty winds and rains lashed Mumbai and its neighbouring areas overnight and on Monday morning as the “very severe cyclonic storm” Tauktae was heading towards Gujarat, officials said. There was no water-logging anywhere in the metropolis, but trees were uprooted at several places, they said, adding that no casualty was reported so far.
In view of the high speed winds, the Bandra-Worli sea-link was closed for traffic and people were asked to take alternate routes, a senior official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said. Local trains services of the Central Railway were disrupted between suburban Ghatkopar and Vikhroli as a tree branch fell on a train heading towards neighbouring Thane, a railway spokesperson said.
Efforts were on to restore the train movement on the route, he said. As a precautionary measure, the monorail services in the city were suspended for the day, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) said. This was a “prompt decision” taken for the safety of commuters, the MMRDA said.
“#TauktaeCyclone. Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm now.
Mumbai 160 km Veraval Guj 290 km Take care …North Konkan, Mah coast and Guj,” KS Hosalilar, head SID, Climate Research & Services, IMD Pune, tweeted.
In another tweet earlier, he said Mumbai was quite windy and asked citizens to take care and keep a tab on updates from the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
“#TauktaeCyclone Today morning at 0700 hrs Mumbai much much windy now, Overcast Sky, now mod rains and can pickup soon. No water logging so far…,” Hosalikar tweeted. According to the BMC, the island city received 8.37 mm rainfall between Sunday 11 pm and Monday 7 am, while the eastern and western suburbs received 6.53 mm and 3.92 mm downpour, respectively, during the same period.
Light spells of rain continued since 7 am on Monday, a BMC spokesperson said, adding that there was no water-logging anywhere in the city. The IMD said moderate to intense spells of rain with gusty winds reaching 90-100 km/ph are likely to occur at isolated places in Raigad, Palghar, Mumbai, Thane and Ratnagiri districts over the next three hours.
According to civic officials, around 34 incidents of tree fall were reported in Mumbai since Sunday, but there no report of any injury to anyone. The civic-run Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has deployed officers of its transport and power wings at various locations, including control rooms for disaster management.
On Sunday, the IMD issued an orange alert for Mumbai, predicting heavy to very heavy rains at isolated places with strong winds on Monday. According to civic officials, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Indian Navy were on alert as Cyclone Tauktae intensified to a very severe cyclonic storm and was passing close to Mumbai.
Six flood rescue teams of the Mumbai fire brigade were deployed at chowpatties and five temporary shelters each were kept ready in 24 civic wards of the city to shift citizens there if required, they said.