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Saturday, June 20, 2015

rains in Mumbai ............... and at Wanganui ~and the response

Whanganui,  is an urban area and district on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand.  The Whanganui River, New Zealand's longest navigable waterway, runs from Mount Tongariro to the sea.  Like several New Zealand centres, it was officially designated a city until administrative reorganisation in 1989, and is now run by a District Council. Although called Wanganui from 1854, the New Zealand Geographic Board recommended that the name be changed to "Whanganui", and the government decided in December 2009 that, while either spelling was acceptable ! 

Back home, Mumbai has been pummelled – yesterday [19th June 2015] is stated to be the  wettest June day since 2005.  The Met department has predicted heavy rain on Saturday as well.  The cyclonic circulation in the Arabian Sea continues to create favourable conditions for rain to continue in Mumbai for the next 24 hours. In a span of 20 hours, from 8.30 am on Friday, Mumbai has received 175 mm of rain. A lot of areas in the city are still waterlogged. Parel and Gandhi market are among the worst hit areas.  There is high tide expected again in Mumbai today, at around 3:10 pm. The wave height is likely to be 4.3 metres. Even under this, the Western Railways has resumed services on all four lines as water levels have receded at some places.

As civic authorities described the rainfall in the country's financial capital as "unprecedented", they said 283 mm of rain, which is normally received in 10 days, was witnessed in just 24 hours. Mithi river is around the danger mark,  it is stated. Educational institutions were shut and government and private offices reported thin attendance.   

Remember that a decade ago, in 2005 there was flooding of many parts of Maharashtra when more than 100o people reportedly died.  The term 26th  July, now is, in context always used for the day when the city of Mumbai came to a standstill.  There were floods, stated to be eighth heaviest ever recorded 24-hour rainfall figure of 994 mm (39.1 inches)

Miles away, in New Zealand, all  roads in and out of Wanganui are closed due to severe weather conditions.  Flooding, slips and fallen trees have closed SH3 Whanganui and numerous other urban roads. People have been evacuated in parts of Putiki, Wanganui East, Aramoho and Brunswick, and a Red Cross evacuation centre has been set up.  Wanganui District Council Civil Defence is asking people to stay indoors and not travel unless they absolutely have to.

A civil defence emergency has been called in the Wanganui District after rising floodwaters saw more than 50 people evacuated from their homes.  Added, Horizons Regional Council flood crews were on standby as the Whanganui River rises. Horizons' incident commander  said Wanganui was under threat from the rapidly rising river, which was expected to peak at 14.7m at Pipiriki.  As dozens of Wanganui people were evacuated from their homes due to floods, slips, and sewage spills, the Civil Defence and Red Cross opened up an evacuation centre.  "Most of those people have been able to find somewhere to stay with friends or family, but if they haven't got anywhere else to go we will put them up in a motel.  The spokesperson said the centre,  was likely to accept more evacuees as the flooding worsened.

Wanganui was virtually cut off by the flooding this afternoon as all roads in and out of the city were closed. Between midnight and 4pm today more than 60mm of rain had fallen in Wanganui.  Another stated that there was  slip with nine full grown trees and thousands of kilos of dirt on our driveway.

The mayor declared a state of local emergency to enable about 100 people living near the Whanganui River to be evacuated and stated that it is most important that people evacuate if asked, and follow direction and advice from agencies.  Their announcement reads :
*If your property is at risk from floodwaters, slips or sewage leaks, please contact Civil Defence on [06] 3490001.
*If the danger is immediate please call the emergency services on 111.
*Evacuation centre is available at St Paul's Church, Guyton St [opposite the Wanganui District Council buildings].
*For roading updates visit www.nzta.govt.nz.
*For electricity updates visit www.powerco.co.nz.

The situation in Mumbai is certainly far worser !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

20th June 2015.

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