MUMBAI: Heavy downpour brought India’s financial capital to its knees on Tuesday. Normal life was thrown out of gear as 300-400 mm of rainfall pelted over the city in 24 hours (till 10 am on Tuesday).
Unusually high tides made matters worse and refreshed memories of the great 2005 floods. Residents and the administration are bracing for more trouble as the weather department has predicted “extremely heavy rainfall” over the next 48 hours.
Offices were shut early due to the weather, leaving employees stuck without transport. Thousands were stranded across suburban railway stations as the city’s lifeline was thrown out of gear. Roadways were submerged in several parts and traffic was diverted at least 25 points. Air traffic was also affected by strong, gusty winds, with at least six flight cancellations, 10 diversions.
Conservative estimates peg this to be the worst flood since 2005. However, not much has changed over the last 12 years and not many lessons have been learnt. Though Tuesday’s rainfall was just a third of that received in 2005 (944 mm) in 24 hours, it brought the city to a screeching halt.
One of the most developed cities in the country lost access to basic facilities like power and internet on Tuesday. Sourcing of essential commodities became a problem for those in low-lying areas. Suburban trains were once again in the frontline of the casualty.
Navy helicopters, divers and emergency teams on standby
Naval helicopters have been kept on standby to meet any eventuality. Five flood-rescue teams and two diving teams are also on standby, ready for deployment across the city
Duronto Express derails due to landslide, tragedy averted
The Nagpur-Mumbai Duronto Express derailed between Vasind and Asangaon stations due to a rain-triggered landslide. While nine coaches of the train derailed, no casualties were reported
“Extremely heavy” rainfall expected in 24-48 hours: MeT
The MeT department has forecast “extremely heavy rainfall” in the next 24-48 hours on the western coast of Maharashtra, including Mumbai, Gujarat and Goa. “It is a serious situation,” officials said