Rain water enters the cargo complex of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai
In one of the heaviest rainfall seen since the last deluge in 2005, Mumbai has recorded nearly 331.4 mm of rainfall in 24 hours till 8:30 am, according to IMD data. Strong winds and non-stop rainfall ensured the city came to a complete standstill, bringing back horrific memories of 26 July, 2005 when 944 mm rainfall accompanied with a cloudburst flooded the city and took nearly 1000 lives.
To put the rainfall data in perspective, the season’s required total rainfall for Santacruz is 2,558 mm. Till 8:30 am Tuesday morning, the IMD data shows that 2003 mm of rainfall was already recorded since June 1, 2017. Add the 331.4 mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours between 8:30 am on Tuesday to 8:30 am Wednesday, the city has already seen 2334 mm of rainfall.
In just 24 hours, the city has received nearly 13% of the entire season’s rainfall with forecast of more heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours. This has surpassed the 283.4mm of rainfall the city received in June 2015.
According to an Hindustan Times report in 2016, under the IMD’s new classification, 15.6mm to 64.4mm of rain is considered ‘moderate’, 64.5mm to 115.5mm is ‘heavy’, 115.6mm to 204.4mm is ‘very heavy’ and more than 204.5mm is ‘extreme’.
The government has also shut the Mumbai-Pune expressway to avoid the entry of more vehicles into the city.
— ✍Prakash✍ (@prakashSriv) August 29, 2017
The Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis who was active on Twitter the entire day visited the disaster management centre and monitored the relief work planned by the authorities. Speaking to reporters through the day, Fadnavis blamed the unprecedented rains for the flooding.
“The city received more heavy than normal rains while the average is more than 120 mm. The traffic is moving very slow, mumbai suburban railways had to be shut for some time. 209 pumps are trying to pump out the water. As waters start receding post the high tide, the trains will start working and the situation will return back to normalcy,” said the chief minister in an interview to India Today.
Meanwhile the government has declared a holiday for schools and colleges on Wednesday. Also the residents have been requested to stay back home on Wednesday.
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) August 29, 2017
M Mahapatra, ADG of Met Department speaking to India Today said that while the western region will continue to receive heavy rains, the rainfall in the city will recede and may not see a repeat of Tuesday.
Train services across Western, Central and Suburban routes are yet to return back to normalcy. Currently, train services between Andheri and Virar on the western railway have been restored.
— ANI (@ANI) August 29, 2017
Meanwhile, mumbai residents showed they have a heart by opening their homes for those stranded in the rains. Several messages on Twitter and Facebook asked those stuck at various places to get in touch. Churches, temples, masjids, darghas, ganesh pandals put out messages on social media inviting those stranded to contact them and seek relief.