State Affairs

Heavy rains batter Mumbai, disrupt life, main runway shut

MUMBAI: Torrential rains battered Mumbai and parts of Maharashtra on Wednesday, disrupting normal life in the country’s financial capital.

Flights were badly hit after a private airline skidded on Mumbai airport’s main runway, forcing its closure, reports IANS.

Air India technicians were helping the airport authorities to remove the stuck SpiceJet aircraft to clear the main runway for regular operations. It is expected to open at 6 a.m. on Thursday.

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Flights were landing on and taking off from a secondary and shorter runway, leading to huge delays, diversions, go-arounds and cancellations since Tuesday night, officials said.
Since Tuesday night till Wednesday morning, over five dozen flights were diverted to Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Another more than 100 flights, including international ones, were cancelled.

The IMD said Mumbai suburbs recorded a whopping 354 mm rainfall till Wednesday morning, making it the second highest downpour on a single day since the great Mumbai floods when the city experienced 945 mm rains.

The previous high record was on August 29 when Mumbai recorded 316 mm rainfall.
A 22-member Zimbabwe Under-19 team, which was supposed to reach Mumbai on Tuesday, was stuck at the Nagpur airport and later accommodated in hotels.

But Air India passengers stuck in Nagpur faced a harrowing time as the airline could not arrange for sufficient hotel rooms that were booked mostly by private airlines, said an official.

A SpiceJet Boeing aircraft skidded due to the wet runway in Mumbai, triggering a chain of disruptions.

All through Wednesday, heavy rains continued to clobber Mumbai, the entire coastal Konkan region and parts of western and northern Maharashtra, affecting normal life in various cities, towns and villages, for the second time in three weeks.

As a precaution, Education Minister Vinod Tawde announced the closure of all schools and colleges in Mumbai metropolitan region.

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