Saturday, May 28, 2005

59.2mm of rains wreck city

Records 59.2mm Of Agony,Thanks To Poor Infrastructure
The Times of India

Bangalore: The sun disappeared at around 3.45 pm on Friday as the city was enveloped by the dark cumulonimbus clouds racing across the sky. Typical of Bangalore, the rain began in patches.

South Bangalore received the first showers. Within minutes, however, the entire city was engulfed in a torrent of rain — easily one of the heaviest in recent times. No area was untouched.

There were hailstones, rarely heard loud thunder, lightning, strong gusty winds and sheets of rain. In a span of less than an hour Bangalore was left battered and bruised, all its hi-tech status flowing down the drains, through the flooded streets and inundated colonies. Bangaloreans across the city waited for over an hour to let the fury pass. When they moved again minifloods greeted them on every street. Trees lay torn down, basements flooded, vehicles stalled and on some roads even floated by.

The low lying areas again stood testimony to the fact that despite aspirations there is little to instil confidence in city’s capability to be a Shanghai or Singapore. If upmarket Church Street and Vittal Mallya Road were not spared there was obviously little hope for Ejipura, Viveknagar or HRBR Layout.

Traffic all over the city simply stopped. Motorists were too scared to move — they could not see where the roads ended and the drains began. And the power black out did little to help.

The met department called it a premonsoon experience and linked it to convective activity over the city. Their barometers notched 59.2 mm rainfall (till 5:30 pm), the highest for the current month. But it was not anywhere near the record rainfall of 179 mm on one day in October 1997. “There was sufficient moisture supply for heavy rain accompanied by squall (violent winds) and hailstorm,’’ a met department official said. With Friday’s rainfall, the total rain for May 2005 touched 143.1 mm, leap-frogging the 119.6 mm average for the month. Incidentally, the forecast for Saturday is more of the same - thundershowers.


• Trees: More than 150 crash, 80 in J.P. Nagar alone
• Electricity poles: Over 560 bite the dust, 130 in south Bangalore
• Vehicles: Two tractors crushed by tree in Basavanagudi; at least 10 buses, dozens of autos and two-wheelers and several small cars stranded.
• Worst-affected areas: Ulsoor, Koramangala, Ejipura, Viveknagar, Sriramapura, Domlur, Marathahalli, Murugeshpalya, Shanthinagar, Basavanagudi, Banashankari, Rajarajeshwarinagar
• Establishments worst hit: Hotels and hospitals in basement areas


• Rainfall on Friday: 59.2 mm
• Bangalore’s record for a single day: 179 mm (Oct. 1, 1997)
• Monsoon expected: June 7


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