Unseasonal rainfall accompanied by an unforeseen massive dust storm hit the city hard on Monday. A huge metal scaffolding collapsed in Wadala East, damaging vehicles, while air traffic was suspended for an hour and trains on all three lines as well as Metro services were halted. Several trees across the city were also uprooted, obstructing BEST bus routes and vehicular traffic.

The scaffolding, at Barkat Ali Naka, near Shreeji Towers, collapsed at 4 pm on parked vehicles. One person was trapped inside a car. However, no other person was found injured. An auto driver, Hayayat Khan, was injured after a coconut tree collapsed on his vehicle near Meghwadi junction in Jogeshwari East. Bystanders helped admit him to the nearby civic-run Jogeshwari trauma centre.

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Commuting woes

Lakhs of commuters were forced to stay put in their offices as train and Metro services were affected by the stormy weather and low visibility. While Blue Line 1 services were affected near JB Nagar, Red Line 7 services were hit near Aarey station. Blue Line 1 was affected between 4.25 pm and 4.35 pm as a cloth got entangled in overhead wires at the Airport Road station. Red Line 7 was disrupted due to wind and rains and eventually restored by 4.58 pm.

A large number of BEST bus services were either diverted or cancelled due to tree falls at various places. Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) faced a significant disruption as torrential rains forced the closure of both runways, leading to the suspension of all flight operations. The unexpected downpour paralysed air travel, causing inconvenience to thousands of passengers and disrupting schedules across the board. “Due to inclement weather and dust storms in the city, the airport had to temporarily suspend flight operations for 66 minutes due to low visibility and gusty winds. 

Operations resumed at 5.03 pm. During this time, the airport witnessed 15 diversions,” an official said. M Ramkumar, additional commissioner of police (traffic) told mid-day, “There are traffic disruptions across the city but no major ones. We are working on the issue and will clear off the traffic as soon as possible. Fallen trees have created traffic jams and the fire brigade is working on a priority basis to remove them so traffic flow can be restored.”

Rallies cancelled

A rally of Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray in Dombivli was postponed to May 16. Mumbai North East candidates Sanjay Dina Patil from the Sena (UBT) and Mihir Kotecha of the BJP, meanwhile, cancelled their evening rallies in the constituency after a hoarding collapsed on the Eastern Express Highway at Ghatkopar. Kotecha stated that a rally to be held by DCM Devendra Fadnavis in his constituency was also cancelled due to the incident.

Disruption in water supply

A 22 KV power substation at Powai was damaged on Monday at 5 pm due to the storm and unseasonal rain. The power supply to the Powai pumping centre has also been disrupted. As a result, there will be no water supply in some areas of L and S wards. Water supply to both these areas (Ghatkopar and Bhandup) will resume after the power substation is repaired.

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