Mumbai: Barely a week into the monsoon on Friday, Mumbai and surroundings were paralysed as heavy rains lashed these areas since Thursday evening, while torrential rains slowed down other parts of Maharashtra, officials said here.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of heavy rainfall in Mumbai, coastal Konkan and other parts over the next two-three days accompanied by strong winds touching 60 knots and very rough seas.
"A high tide, around 4.5 metres high, is expected today (around 2.30 p.m). If there is heavy rain, it could create further problems," said V.K. Rajeev, the director of weather forecast at IMD, Mumbai.
The National Disaster Relief Management, the Indian Navy, Mumbai police, fire brigade, home guards and other agencies were prepared to tackle any emergencies that may arise due to the continuous rains lashing the state.
The rains hit hard the lifelines of Mumbai -- the suburban railway network -- with waterlogging on railway tracks, preventing office-goers from commuting to and from their homes and workplaces.
While the Central Railway (CR) and Harbour Line, and Western Railway (WR) managed to start a few services for the day in the early hours, they were delayed and later suspended in the city, rail officials and the BMC Disaster Cell said.
However, services continued on the mainland beyond Thane, Karjat-Kasara and Panvel sections of Central Railway and beyond Vasai on Western Railway.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday visited the state and Brihanmumbai municipal corporation (BMC) Disaster Cells to take stock of the situation and discussed precautionary and relief measures with top officials.
"Almost four metres high tide expected around 2.00 p.m. today ... Appealing everyone to avoid going near the sea. Please avoid going out of homes... Be safe!" Fadnavis tweeted soon after, terming it as a major challenge before the authorities.
He added that the BMC has deployed 176 pumping stations to flush out rainwaters into the Arabian Sea and most pressing problems were addressed even as the government was prepared to tackle any eventuality.
The civic body has advised people not to send their children to schools and Mumbaikars told to venture out only if necessary, while the Bombay High Court remained closed for the day in view of the heavy rains expected to lash the city over the next two days.
Meanwhile, heavy water logging and flooding has been reported at various locations around the city including Dadar, Parel, Byculla, Mazagaon, Mahim, Santacruz, Juhu, Vile Parle, Worli, Sion, Chunabhatti, Andheri, Kurla, Borivali, Dahisar, Jogeshwari and other areas preventing movement of road traffic.
All incoming and outgoing domestic as well as international flights at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport suffered delays of minimum 15 minutes and above, an official spokesperson said.
Several incoming flights of various airlines from different centres to Mumbai were diverted to dry stations like Ahmedabad or Baroda.
Around 250 special buses have been deployed in the city to ferry commuters who have been stranded in different parts of the city as the suburban train services have collapsed.
Meanwhile, Mumbai city recorded around 283 mm and suburbs averaged around 209 mm rainfall since Thursday.
There were reports of tree crashes, road cave-ins, vehicles submerged in rainwaters, power failures, traffic snarls on the Western and Eastern Express Highways, waterlogging at both ends of several flyovers and the Eastern Freeway.
Coastal regions of the state including Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg experienced torrential rains, hitting normal life with flooding in several towns and villages.
Heavy downpour was reported from Pune, Satara, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Nashik and other cities slowing down normal life.