Heavy rains pounding Mumbai for a week now, has brought the mega Indian city to its knees.
India’s financial capital received 403 millimetres (mm) of rain in the four days since Sept. 2, compared with the monthly expected average rainfall of 341 mm, according to the private weather forecasting agency Skymet Weather.
The incessant downpour has, so far, claimed at least five lives, according to various news reports. Search is also on for four people who have been washed away. Authorities have asked people in Mumbai and surrounding areas not to venture near the sea and avoid waterlogged areas. Mumbai residents can call on 1916 for assistance, Quartz India reported.
Daily life was disrupted in the week and most offices, colleges, and schools were shut on Sept. 05 and on Sept. 04. With essential services like power supply being hit, the annual Ganpati festivities in Mumbai and the adjoining districts of Thane, Palghar and Raigad were also stalled.
Several trains were also cancelled, leaving hundreds of people stranded at railway stations.
The city is unlikely to get any respite from the flooding in the coming days as well. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a “red alert” forecasting intense rain in the city and surrounding areas in the next 24 hours. National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) teams have been kept on standby to meet any emergency. About 1,300 people living on the banks of the Mithi river have been shifted by the NDRF, fire brigade, and police after water levels crossed the danger mark.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Railways have also set up relief camps for stranded people.
Flight operations at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, one of India’s busiest, too, were disrupted. Yesterday (Sept. 05), 30 flights were cancelled and more than 118 flights were delayed.
India’s largest carrier IndiGo suspended operations due to paucity of manpower on Sept. 04. Though it resumed operations yesterday, the airline cautioned fliers to check their flight status before heading to the airport. “There are few cancellations to stabilise the operations. All affected passengers are being accommodated on alternate flights,” it said in a statement.
Other regions of Maharashtra state, too, have been hit. More than 100 villages in Gadchiroli and Gondia in the Vidarbha region and several others in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg of the Konkan region have been cut off.
This is the second extreme rainfall event this monsoon after the one in early July. Then, too, the city had drowned at the first sign of rain.