Mumbai: Gusty winds and heavy showers lashed Mumbai and its neighbouring areas on Monday as the "very severe cyclonic storm" Tauktae headed towards Gujarat, uprooting trees and disrupting local train services in the metropolis, officials said.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of extremely heavy rain and wind speed up to 120 kmph over the next few hours, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said in the afternoon.
Currently, several parts of Mumbai and neighbouring areas are witnessing heavy downpour coupled with strong winds.
"The IMD has upgraded the warning to extremely heavy rainfall in Mumbai for next few hours," BMC's spokesperson Tanaji Kamble said.
The Bandra-Worli sea-link was closed for traffic in view of the strong winds and people were asked to take alternate routes, another senior official of the BMC said.
The Colaba area in south Mumbai recorded a wind speed of 102 km per hour around 11 am, the highest for the day so far, IMD Mumbai's senior director Shubhangi Bhute said.
Between 8.30 a.m and 11 a.m, the IMD's Colaba observatory (representative of south Mumbai) recorded 79.4 mm rainfall, while the Santacruz observatory (representative of suburbs) recorded 44.5 mm rain, she said.
Local trains services of the Central Railway were disrupted between suburban Ghatkopar and Vikhroli for about half an-hour as a tree fell on an overhead wire while a train was heading towards neighbouring Thane, a railway spokesperson said.
Services on the harbour line, that provides rail connectivity to Navi Mumbai, were also affected after a vinyl banner fell on an overhead wire between Chunabhatti and Guru Tej Bahadur stations around 11.45 am.
The banner was removed after about half-an-hour and train services were resumed, he said.
Due to the strong wind, some plastic sheets covering the roof of the common passenger area between the suburban and main lines at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) were blown away in the morning, he said.
The area was cordoned off and the railway staff immediately attended to it, he said.
Despite the civic body's claims of drains having been cleaned as part of preparedness for the upcoming monsoon season, there was water-logging in several low-lying areas of the city.
The Mumbai police tweeted about water-logging in six low-lying areas, including the Hindmata junction, Andheri subway and Malad Subway, crucial for the east-west connectivity.
A citizen in a Twitter post claimed a temporary pandal erected for vaccination in Dahisar was partially damaged due to the heavy rain and high velocity winds. However, civic officials did not confirm it.
As a precautionary measure, the monorail services in the city were suspended for the day, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) said.
The IMD earlier forecast moderate to intense spells of rain with gusty winds reaching 90-100 kmph are likely to occur at isolated places in Raigad, Palghar, Mumbai, Thane and Ratnagiri districts.
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.
Mumbai airport to remain shut till 4 pm All operations at the city's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) will now remain shut till 4 pm in the wake of cyclone Tauktae, the private airport operator said on Monday.
CSMAI had earlier decided to suspend flight services from 11 am to 2 pm.
“In the wake of the cyclone, the closure of flight operations at Mumbai Airport has been extended till 1600 hours on May 17,” CSMIA said in its latest statement.
Further, three city-bound flights operated by budget carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet were diverted due to the closure of all services at the city airport.
A city-bound IndiGo flight was diverted to Hyderabad and a SpiceJet flight to Surat, while one IndiGo flight was sent back to Lucknow, as per the CSMAI