Unexpected rains in Mumbai
Unexpected showers continued in Mumbai on Tuesday as Cyclone Ockhi's effects were felt on India's western coast. The cyclone is currently moving towards the Gujarat coast and has already caused damage in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep.
Areas near Mumbai witnessed hailstorms, while schools and colleges in the city and adjoining districts have been closed on Tuesday as a precautionary measure.
The weather department has forecast intermittent rains in Mumbai and suburbs in the next 24 hours. Skymetweather reported that these rains are an unusual sight for the city as it remains almost dry during this time of the year. Mumbai usually receives only 5.3 mm of rains in December but with 22 mm of rain in the last 24 hours, it has broken a decade old record.
The traffic on Eastern and Western Express Highways in Mumbai slowed down after rain in some parts of Mumbai throughout Monday night. Traffic curbs were put in place in some places in view of the rush of followers of Babasaheb Ambedkar on his death anniversary on Wednesday.
Unexpected rains in Mumbai. Twitter @nra_hul
Mumbai police put up barricades near Dadar Chowpatty and Juhu Chowpatty to prevent people from going near the beaches. Also, the Mumbai University administration announced that the exams for various streams will continue as per schedule.
Trains on the central line were running 10 minutes late, but the frequency of local trains in Mumbai was not affected, a Railway official told CNN-News18. Public Relations Officer for the Mumbai Airport said that flight operations had not been affected.
Rumours going viral
Several rumours went "viral" on social media regarding Cyclone Ockhi and Mumbai rains. #MumbaiRains started trending on Twitter on Monday and videos and GIFs have been circulating on social media and several Whatsapp groups which are more alarming in nature than true.
Urging people not to trust unverified news, Mumbai Police on Tuesday said the "news" that Bandra-Worli Sea Link has "collapsed" is untrue. Similarly, videos of hailstorm near Mumbai circulating on WhatsApp groups and social media are unverified and it's wise not to trust every video or "news" that comes your way.
Rains to continue
"Intermittent rain/thundershowers very likely to occur in Mumbai and suburbs in next 24 hours," said a report of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) Mumbai at 8 am. "Heavy rainfall is likely at a few places with squally wind speed reaching 50 to 60 kms per hour gusting to 70 kms per hour very likely along coastal area in next 24 hours," it further said.
After an alert by the IMD Mumbai observatory, the state government announced a holiday on Tuesday for schools in Mumbai, Sindhudurg, Thane, Raigad and Palghar districts.
The storm has current weakened and is over east-central Arabian Sea 300 km south southwest of Mumbai and 480 km south-southwest of Surat, said the Skymetweather report. The system is expected weaken further reach Gujarat's coast by the night of 5 December.
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