MUMBAI:Mumbai is struggling in waist-deep water, lashed by what weather officials believe could be the heaviest and longest bout of rain since July 26, 2005, when the city was devastated by floods. “Typhoon-like weather” – as industrialist Anand Mahindra calls it – has left roads flooded in several parts of the city; traffic has slowed down and trains are delayed.
It has rained incessantly since morning – along with strong winds – and if it continues till high tide at 4.30 pm, India’s commercial capital could be in for hours of flooding, traffic jams and stranded cars on the roads.
“Not a river, but a road,” reported an NDTV correspondent from central Mumbai. In worst-affected areas like Elphinstone, cars and bikes were only partially above water. Strong winds made it worse.
Weathermen cautioned people against scheduling meetings or flights. They said the rain will continue tomorrow and the conditions will be extreme. “Heavy to very heavy rain” has been predicted for at least the next 24 hours in Mumbai and its suburbs.
In the past 12 hours, rain has flooded several low-lying areas and slowed down traffic with cars seen under flyovers. “Due to very heavy rain and water-logging on tracks”, said the Railways Ministry, trains have been delayed by at least 15 minutes.
Images showed cars virtually crawling in a sea of brown water and residents struggling to cross roads fearing potholes and uncovered drains.
“Typhoon-like weather” is how Anand Mahindra described it, tweeting that he was cancelling a flight to Delhi for an India-Australia meet and “telling my Aussie friends I’m ‘Down Under’ water in Mumbai”. Mumbai rains trended high on social media, with people posting images or rants on Twitter.
Flooding has been reported in the Sion, Dadar, Mumbai Central, Kurla, Andheri, Sakinaka areas.
“Every year it’s the same story, the roads are bad anyway…rain brings double takleef (double the problem),” said a shopkeeper.
He complained that Mumbai’s civic body BMC had failed to learn lessons and prepare proper outlets for rain water.