The Maharashtra government has instructed schools and colleges in Mumbai to remain closed on Wednesday as a precautionary measure after Met department issued an alert forecasting heavy rains in the city and the coastal Konkan region for the next three days.
State Education Minister Vinod Tawde confirmed the news, saying schools have been instructed to remain closed on Wednesday for safety due to mixed predictions. In a series of tweets, Mumbai Police said that the state government has declared a holiday in schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
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Meanwhile, flight operations at the Mumbai airport were suspended for nearly half an hour as visibility dropped well below the required 550 meter-mark following heavy rains and lightning that lashed the metropolis on Tuesday evening. Around 20 flights were affected with seven of them being diverted to Hyderabad, Vadodara and Ahmedabad airports and the rest forced to 'go-around' (abort landing on final approach) when the only runway was closed in the evening.
The airport handles around 930 arrivals and departures a day, with 42 movements per hour on an average. The visibility dropped to 250 meters at around 1849 hrs (6:49 pm), forcing the airport authorities to shut operations. It could only be resumed at 1916 hrs (7:16 pm) after the visibility improved.
Just now,the State Gov has declared a holiday in schools tomorrow for safety of students, irrespective of weather conditions #mumbairains— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) September 19, 2017
Heavy rains coupled with thunder and lightning lashed the metropolis on Tuesday afternoon, slowing down movement of vehicular traffic and suburban trains, and bringing back memories of torrential downpour late last month when the financial capital came to a standstill.
With the weather department forecasting more rain, the civic administration and other agencies have geared up to tackle any eventuality and keep the city afloat unlike on August 29, when the metropolis was flooded. "No untoward incident has been reported so far owing to the rains and our contingency services are in alert mode," said a senior official attached with the Disaster Management Cell of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Till 5 Tuesday evening, weather station in South Mumbai recorded 28.71 mm rainfall. The eastern and western suburbs recorded 28.93 mm and 25.11 mm rainfall, respectively. On Sunday, the weather department had forecast heavy rains in Mumbai and the coastal Konkan region for the next three days. However, the metropolis did not receive any significant amount of rainfall on Monday.
On August 29, Mumbai received more than 300 mm rainfall that crippled transport services and threw normal life out of gear.
Several parts of the city and its suburbs, including South Mumbai, Borivali, Kandivili, Andheri and Bhandup, received heavy rainfall. The downpour, which started in the (Tuesday) afternoon, was accompanied by thunder and lightning. As per information received from the Colaba observatory, the north Konkan region of Maharashtra, including Mumbai and its neighbouring areas, is expected to receive more rainfall.
There were reports of slow movement of vehicles on the city's streets, while suburban trains were running late. PRO of Central Railway A K Jain said that (suburban) trains are running a bit late, but there has been no cancellation till now. A tree branch fell between Andheri and Vile Parle stations on the Harbour corridor, briefly halting the traffic.