Mumbai, often touted as the financial capital of India, has been left paralyzed after heavy rainfall that brought the city to a stand-still.
Airport operations have been suspended and some lines of the local trains have been cancelled due to massive flooding. Many cars and other vehicles have remained stuck in the roads. The city expects the rains to continue.
Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, is known for receiving heavy rainfall especially during the month of July. Generally, by the end of August, rains begin to dissipate. One of the worst flooding that the city had to deal with, occurred in 2005. There was heavy rainfall all across Maharashtra between July 26 and 27.
It was during this period when the airports in Mumbai were shut down for the first time ever. Rail links were also disrupted. There was widespread damage of property as well as heavy loss of life. According to estimates, around 500 people died in Mumbai alone due to the flooding. Most who died were living in poor neighborhoods and slums.
There have been strong rains in the past week in the city. The Indian Meteorological Department said that it is likely to continue for another day or so. Ajay Kumar, director, IMD Mumbai has spoken about the cause of the rainfall noting that, “There is a low area formation over south-east Odisha and its vicinity, so Mumbai will receive heavy to very heavy rainfall today. Also, the city will get heavy to very heavy rainfall with extremely heavy rainfall in isolated areas, on Tuesday. After two days, the weather will improve and rainfall will decrease.”
Many have begun comparing the current rains to the devastating floods that overtook Mumbai in 2005. By afternoon, authorities in the city had urged residents to stay put in their homes and only leave in cases of emergencies. In the span of just four hours, four inches of rain had already been recorded.
Many who had gone to work have been left stranded as much of the infrastructure has been compromised. Thousands of residents have now begun taking to social media to offer their homes for refuge to those stranded. Due to low visibility, operations in the Mumbai airport have been suspended.
The rains also affected the city’s hospitals. Doctors had to move their patients from the ground floor in some cases. Ashutosh Desai, a doctor in the 1,800 bed hospital said, “We are worried about infections...the rain water is circulating rubbish that is now entering parts of the emergency ward.” Additionally, schools have been shut.
According to media reports, teams from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are on alert and are monitoring the situation as it unfolds.
Our assessment is that rains would continue for the next twenty four hours.