Mumbai, July 7: Heavy rains lashed the Mumbai suburbs, and adjoining districts of Thane, Raigad and Palghar on Saturday killing one person and throwing normal life out of gear for the second time this week. Reportedly, five picnickers went missing while another 30 were rescued from a Chinchoti Falls in Palghar district which is hilly picnic spot.

Usha Sawant, 40, was electrocuted and her five-year-old daughter Kumari was injured following a short-circuit in their house in PMGP Colony in suburban Mankhurd. An aerial search with helicopters and a NDRF team from here have launched a rescue operation to trace the missing persons.

The Central Railway suburban and long-distance train traffic was again hit after at least three signal poles fell down in the rains. It diverted two trains on the Mumbai-Pune sector and cancelled three services due to the downpour which continued till evening.

Though streams and water bodies adjoining the Western Railway were swollen, there was no major impact on the train traffic. Large parts of towns like Palghar, Boisar, Dahanu, Saphale, Virar, Vasai, Kalyan, Ambernath, Badlapur, Vidyavihar, Bhiwandi, Ulhasnagar, Karjat, Pali and surrounding villages experienced flooding or heavy waterlogging, throwing traffic movement out of gear.

The busy Mumbai-Goa Highway was blocked for over three hours due to landslides or tree crashes resulting in massive traffic jams over several kilometres, and peoples’ weekend getaway plans went haywire. A majority of the big and small rivers in western and coastal parts of the state including the Savitri River, were overflowing, with flood waters running into surrounding villages.

The famed hill stations of Matheran (Raigad) and Mahabaleshwar (Satara), Khandala (Pune) received heavy rains and over 10,000 people jostled in traffic snarls to visit the Bhushi Dam in the neighbouring twin-hill station of Lonavala which received 160 mm rains.

While Matheran and Karjart in Raigad received around 190 mm and 150 mm respectively, Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani 160 mm, Murbad in Thane was inundated under 220 mm, and Wada in Palghar with 230 mm.

The IMD said most places in the Palghar, Thane and Raigad received an average of around 110-200 mm rains in the past 24 hours. “We have issued a forecast for scattered heavy rainfall at isolated places in parts of Mumbai city and suburbs, including Thane, Palghar for today and tomorrow. There are several weather systems like a cyclonic circulation which is passing over Vidarbha, an offshore trough from south Gujarat to Kerala coast and also another cyclonic circulation in the Bay of Bengal over Odisha coast which has turned into a low pressure. This has led to the strengthening of the westerly winds giving Mumbai these rains,” KS Hosalikar, IMD deputy director-general (western region) was reported as telling TOI.

It has also forecast heavy to very heavy rains in Mumbai and adjoining districts over the next 24-48 hours, besides in places like Nagpur, Aurangabad, Nanded, Akola, Wardha, Chandrapure and the coastal Konkan.

(With inputs from IANS)