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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thundershowers, strong winds claim at least 2 lives, injure 18

100 Hutments Destroyed, Youngest Victim 2 Years Old

    The bout of thunderstorms, heavy rain and strong winds, which continued for the second consecutive day, has taken its toll on the city. In the last 24 hours, lightning and freak accidents have claimed the lives of at least two people—one in Bhiwandi and another in Kandivli—and injured 18 people. There were reports of two others deaths, one in Bhiwandi, though it was not confirmed. In Kandivli (E) an auto driver died but it wasn't confirmed if it was due to the weather. 
    The youngest victim was a twoyear-old boy, Rudrapratap Vishwakarma, who died when a tree—uprooted by strong winds—crashed into his house at Shivaji Nagar locality near Kamath Ghar in Bhiwandi late Thursday evening. Around 100 hutments at Shivaji Nagar were destroyed during Thursday's unprecedented storm and 18 residents including Rudrapratap's parents were injured. With no access to food, water or electricity, locals at Shivaji Nagar say the authorities have done little to help them. "The fire brigade and police officials reached the spot 30 minutes after the storm ravaged our houses. We had to transport the injured to hospitals," said a local, Bhagwan Thakur. At least three of the 14 injured are critical, said local police officials.
    Israel Shaikh (28), was struck by lightning at Kandivli (E) on Wednesday night. Shaikh, who was mason, lived in a shanty with his family. He was fixing the roof of his hutment when he was struck by lightning. In a separate incident on Wednesday evening, autorickshaw driver, Triloknath Upadhyaya (55), collapsed on the road near
Thakur College, Kandivli (E). "Whether it was a lightning strike can be determined after an autopsy," said the police. 
    Archives show that heavy rain in the second week of October is an unusual phenomenon for Mumbai, but officials said that thunderstorms at this time of the month are common. "There are always thunder activities that take place during the transition period be
tween two seasons," said a weather official. Past monsoon trends show that Mumbai usually records heavy rain in the first week of October. The one-day rainfall, recorded between Wednesday and Thursday, was the highest the city received in the second week of October since a decade. 
    From June to September 2011, Colaba recorded 2878 mm—128.63% of the average and Santa Cruz 3154.8 mm—120.27% of the average. In the monsoon of 2010, the city had the highest total rainfall in the last two decades. "The rainfall this year has been good. The rains of 2010 can't be expected every year; the intensity the monoon entails is different every year," said a weather official. 
    With inputs from Nitasha Natu 

Stormy Weather In October Wednesday | Colaba received 38.8 mm rain, and Santa Cruz 71 mm Thursday | Colaba recorded 1.1 mm rain, and Santa Cruz recorded 14. 2 mm. Rain was accompanied by strong winds of 20 knots Today's forecast |Occasional spells of rain and thundershowers in the city and suburbs 

Monsoon 2011 
From June to September 2011, Colaba recorded 2,879 mm rain and Santa Cruz 3,155 mm 
    Rainfall data of the last 50 years shows that 2011—despite getting more rainfall than the annual average—has been a drier year than 2010. 
    Mumbai received the maximum amount of rain 57 years ago: In 1954, the city received 3,482 mm rain

CALM BEFORE THE STORM: (top) The sun loses the battle to storm clouds on Thursday evening. (above) An uprooted tree crashed into a house at Shivaji Nagar


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