News Flash – 30 July 2019

National News



July Rainfall in Pune, Mumbai & Thane Highest in over 100 Years


Mumbai: Monsoon 2019 in the Konkan, especially in Mumbai and surrounding areas, has been marked by shorter breaks, a weakening El Nino effect, and intense rain spells. It also helped that strong winds from a cyclonic system near Gujarat brought moisture over Mumbai, ensuring that the monsoon has remained active. “During the past years, constant spells of rain almost throughout the month were rare. Maharashtra had a good rain spell from July 1 to 12, after which the showers took a very short break only to resume with full force,” said Pulak Guhathakurta, who heads the Climate Application and User Interface at IMD-Pune’s Office of Climate Research and Services. “Earlier, heavy rain spells were generally followed by a break in the rain for 10 days or more. This did not happen this time, at least for Konkan and Madhya Maharashtra”. IMD has compiled data for Mumbai district as part of the district rainfall series starting from 1901. The data is based on the average rainfall recorded at five observatories Colaba observatory, Santacruz observatory, Victoria Garden observatory (Byculla zoo), Juhu aerodrome observatory and Podar School observatory (Worli) Guhathakurta said. “The last three observatories are state-run, part-time units that only record rainfall and not temperature or other weather parameters. The IMD has prepared the district series for climatological studies and research. Similar district rainfall series have been prepared for other districts as well, including Pune and Thane,” he said.



A look at rain statistics shows that Mumbai received twice the rain it recorded in July 2016 in just 28 days of July this year. Pune and Thane districts recorded twice and 1.5 times respectively the rain they had got in July 2016. A weather expert said the intense rain witnessed this July in parts of Maharashtra were partly reminiscent of the Kerala floods not in terms of intensity but in the continuity of showers. “The rain in August 2018 in Kerala was full-scale and continuous from August 7-9 and then again from August 15-18. There was barely a break from the rain then in Kerala. Such breaks are usually noticed after heavy spells,” the expert said. The monsoon trough recently shifted to the south of its normal position, which is an ideal weather condition for good rainfall in parts of Maharashtra, said D S Pai, head, climate research and services, IMD. “Strong westerly winds are hitting the west coast, leading to heavy rain in Maharashtra. In the next three to four days too, the state can expect good rain, including Marathwada and Vidarbha,” he said. “Normal to above normal rain is likely to continue for parts of Maharashtra even till August 15”. The director general of meteorology at IMD has told media that El Nino could have been detrimental to the monsoon, but the threat has passed; though El Nino was oscillating between weak and neutral, it now is neutral. Till last month, a weak El Nino was projected to continue through the monsoon season (September-end), and beyond. However, a joint update from the Climate Prediction Center and other US national agencies has shown a dramatic weakening of the condition.



International News



6-Year-Old among 3 Killed in Shooting at California Festival

A social media video grab shows people fleeing after shooting was reported at the Gilroy Garlic Festival near San Jose in California.



Gilroy (California): A shooter cut through a fence and opened fire on a crowd eating and listening to music at a popular food festival in California, killing three people, including a 6-year-old boy, and injuring about 15 others before police quickly shot him dead, authorities said. A law enforcement official said the gunman was Santino Legan and believed he was 19. The official wasn’t authorised to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity on Monday. The shooter appeared to randomly target people when he fired with a rifle on Sunday afternoon, the end of the three-day Gilroy Garlic Festival that attracts more than 100,000 people to the city known as the “Garlic Capital of the World”, Gilroy police chief Scot Smithee said. Police responded within a minute and killed the shooter, Smithee said. The festival in the agricultural city of 50,000 about 176km southeast of San Francisco had security that required people to pass through metal detectors and have their bags searched. The shooter sneaked in through a fence that borders a parking lot next to a creek, the police chief said. Some witnesses reported a second suspect, Smithee said, but it was unclear whether that person was armed or just helped in some way. A manhunt stretched into Monday.



Six-year-old Stephen Romero was among those killed. His father Alberto Romero said, “My son had his whole life to live and he was only 6.” The boy’s grandmother, Maribel Romero, said he was “always kind, happy and, you know, playful”. The wounded were taken to multiple hospitals, and their conditions ranged from fair to critical, with some undergoing surgery. At least five were treated and released. Police searched the two-story Gilroy home of the gunman’s family. A woman who lives across the street said Santino Legan had not lived there for at least a year The Gilroy Garlic Festival features food, cooking contests and music and is a decades-old staple in the city. The band TinMan was starting an encore when the shooting started. Singer Jack van Breen said he saw a man wearing a green shirt and grayish handkerchief around his neck fire into the food area with what looked like an assault rifle. He and other members of the band dove under the stage. Van Breen said he heard someone shout: “Why are you doing this?” The reply: “Because I’m really angry.” The audience began screaming and running, and the five members of the band and others dove under the stage. President Trump condemned the “wicked murderer”. In a tweet, California Governor Gavin Newsom called the bloodshed “nothing short of horrific”.

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