A red alert was issued for Mumbai and a few other districts, including Thane and Palghar, on Wednesday after the city and its surrounding areas received heavy rain since the previous night, PTI reported. Earlier in the day, civic officials had declared a holiday for schools after the India Meteorological Department issued a warning of “heavy to very heavy rainfall” in parts of Maharashtra.

The weather department said around 100 of the 150 weather stations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Metropolitan Region had recorded more than 200 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours. “This shows how widespread the rainfall has been over Mumbai,” an unidentified India Meteorological Department official was quoted as saying. “We have issued a red alert for various places, including Mumbai city and suburbs, Thane and Palghar districts, for next 24 hours.”

The torrential downpour in Mumbai and its suburban areas was attributed to a low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal. “The situation is likely to remain like this for the next 24 hours,” the official said.

National Disaster Response Force and the Navy were sent to Kranti Nagar area of Kurla in the eastern part of the city, The Times of India reported, citing Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s disaster management control room.

“Considering IMD’s heavy rainfall warning, we request Mumbaikars to stay indoors in safe premises till the water in low lying areas recedes,” the civic authority tweeted. It also appealed against believing in rumours on high rainfall alert and asked residents to “confirm doubts on 1916 or our Twitter handle”.

Heavy downpour since Tuesday night had innundated several parts of Mumbai, leading to traffic snarls and delays in train services in the city, NDTV reported.

“In wake of IMD’s warning of heavy rainfall for the rest of the day too, the schools shall remain closed today,” Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation tweeted earlier on Wednesday. “The principals of the schools where students are already in, are requested to take all precautions and ensure that the children are sent back home carefully and safely.” Civic authorities also cautioned people against going close to the sea and walking in waterlogged areas.

South Mumbai reportedly received more rain than the suburban areas in the last 24 hours. While the Colaba weather observatory recorded 122 mm of rain, Santacruz received 118.3 mm in a day. The weather department classifies rainfall over 64.4 mm within a 24-hour period as “heavy” and between 115.6 mm to 204.4 mm as “very heavy”, according to Hindustan Times.

Four factors were causing the heavy rainfall, said Deputy Director General Western Region of the India Meteorological Department KS Hosalikar. “A low-pressure area over the Odisha coast which has intensified monsoon conditions along the west coast combined with two cyclonic circulations – one over northeast Arabian Sea and one over central India,” he added. “Lastly, an easy west wind sheer is further enhancing westerly winds leading to heavy rain.”

Heavy rain also delayed trains on Wednesday morning. “Due to heavy rain and poor visibility, main line suburban trains are running 10-12 minutes late and harbour line trains running 10 minutes late,” Central Railway said, according to NDTV. They also reported a mudslide and a landslide between Nagothane and Roha in Raigad district. Authorities said a team was working to clear the tracks as soon as possible.

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