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Four killed, commuters bear brunt of monsoon onslaught in Mumbai
Friday July 12, 2013 8:15 PM, IANS

At least four people, including two minors, were killed as heavy rains Friday lashed Mumbai and surrounding areas for the second consecutive day, throwing normal life out of gear, officials said.

Mumbai's lifeline, the suburban railways, which carry over eight million commuters daily, was badly hit with waterlogging on tracks. Peak-hour commuters were delayed.

Though the suburban trains were running late by around 30 minutes on the Western Railway (WR) and Central Railway (CR), the only dislocation of train services was on the Thane sector of the suburban section.

In the city, many low-lying areas, including railway lines, were water-logged or flooded, hampering movement of road and rail traffic.

However, the WR's long-distance services took a severe drubbing as incessant rains caused heavy flooding on railway lines in north Maharashtra and south Gujarat, officials said.

All train services on the WR's Mumbai-Ahmedabad and Mumbai-New Delhi sectors were badly hit due to floods in and around Valsad in south Gujarat.

This resulted in several cancellations, major delays or short termination of various important trains on these sectors, including the Flying Ranee, Karnavati Express, Double-Decker Express, August Kranti Rajdhani Express, Golden Temple Mail and others, a WR official said.

Valsad in south Gujarat was among the worst-hit with two-feet-deep water inside the station, preventing movement of local and long-distance trains.

In Mumbai, several low-lying areas remained submerged with up to knee-deep water in the city and suburbs; a similar situation was reported from several areas in neighbouring Thane, hitting vehicular movement badly.

By Friday evening 5 p.m., Mumbai city recorded 8.23 cm rains, eastern suburbs 8.33 cm and western suburbs 8.11 cm.

Weather Bureau Director V.K. Rajeev said that heavy rains are expected to continue lashing Mumbai, coastal Konkan and other parts of the state for the next two days.

Till date, Mumbai city has received nearly 55 percent and suburbs averaged 47 percent of the annual rainfall quota.

In a development that brought some cheer, Tulsi Lake, one of the smallest lakes supplying water to the city, started overflowing Friday.

The catchement in other lakes in Mumbai and Thane supplying water to the country's commercial capital received good rainfall, significantly increasing their water levels.

Elswhere in the state, heavy to very heavy rains were recorded in most districts, with the lion's share going to Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Raigad, Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, Amravati and Nashik.

Many major and minor rivers and water reservoirs across the state were either overflowing or hovering around the danger levels, prompting local authorities to take precautionary measures.

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