July is a month that brings back horrifying memories. Train blasts, 26/7 deluge and add to it the three blasts that left 18 dead and 140 injured. The fact that skies remained grey and rains lashed on a day after the tragedy only added to panic. Twitter, a social networking site, played an important role in bringing together helpful information and centralizing help efforts.
A new initiative by Visual-Data, an organisation that works on representing data and information visually, is proving crucial in booting out rumours and compiling information coming in from people on location. It aggregates all reports coming in from different people.
How do you view this? Just head to the website: http://test.monsoons.in/U/main
If you want to report rains in your area you can do so in three different ways. You can send an email to email@example.com with the time, your exact location, nature of rain, status (eg flooding, harm, heavy/smooth traffic)
You can also the fill the form online at http://test.monsoons.in/U/reports/submit/
“Please refrain from speculating. The service is meant to report critical situations” says one of the founders of visualdata.in.
Upon calling the Traffic Police control room, we were told that the heavy rain hasn't hampered the traffic situation. There is a nalla overflowing in Thane and Mira Road causing slow-traffic but there are no instances of complete traffic-jams. "Khar and Milan subway are waterlogged, however traffic is moving there also," said Constable Kadam at the Traffic Police Helpline.
"The blast followed by the rain has ensured that fewer people have gotten out on the roads, therefore the roads are empty I guess," Kavita Sharma, a college student said.
According to the MET department, between 8.30 last night and 8.30 this morning, Colaba had received 57.1mm rain while Santacruz got 93mm rain. "Intermittent showers are expected in the city and suburbs and heavy rains in some areas," the MET department told DNA.
Upon calling the BMC disaster management helpline, to ask about special preparations in the city due to heavy rains and last evening's blast. "Nothing is being done," was the blunt reply we got.
Visibility at the Mumbai airport has reduced to 350 meters according to news sources. Landings and take-offs have been suspended for over 35 minutes and flights are delayed.
According to the tweets, Ghatkopar railway station, Chheda Nagar in Chembur, Poawi lake, Chandivali, Goregaon east on Western express highway and Thakurli and Kalyan, Mira Road check-naka are waterlogged. To check more please check http://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23monsoons
The regional Meteorological department in Mumbai has said the heavy rainfall did not warrantee the need for panic. Speaking to DNA, VK Rajeev, director, MET Mumbai, said, "The current situation is that the Konkan region, Goa and interior parts of Maharashtra will receive heavy rainfall for the next 48 hours. There is a good cloud patch over Mumbai, which guarantees heavy rainfall in the city till tomorrow."
Further adding that there was no need to panic, Rajeev said, "Public can rest assured that the rainfall is gradually on a decreasing phase."
Latest update: Roads clear. Rain has stopped in many areas while some areas are seeing a light drizzle