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Heavy rain leads to flooding in Mumbai

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of heavy to very heavy rainfall over the next two days over India’s western coast, including Konkan and Mumbai.



by

Nithin Belle

Published: Mon 15 Jun 2015, 11:56 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:58 PM

Mumbai — With the southwest monsoon having finally set in, heavy rains have been lashing Mumbai and the rest of coastal Maharashtra since Saturday, leading to water-logging in several low-lying areas in the metropolis.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of heavy to very heavy rainfall over the next two days over India’s western coast, including Konkan and Mumbai. It has also predicted widespread rainfall over most parts of Konkan and Goa over the next five days. The monsoon, which normally advances over Mumbai by June 10, was late by two days this year.

According to the IMD, the monsoon has advanced into south Gujarat and conditions are favourable for further advance over the rest of Maharashtra. Several parts of the state were reeling under heat wave conditions for most of April and May, but the rains have brought relief in recent days.

Mumbai receives an annual rainfall of between 2,000mm and 2,500mm, while other parts of Konkan get nearly 3,000mm of rainfall during the four-month monsoon season. But India’s financial and commercial capital suffers during the rainy season because of its unique topography.

Most parts of Greater Mumbai (which includes the island city and the western and eastern suburbs) are located on land reclaimed from the sea. The central part of the metropolis is saucer-shaped and accumulates water during days of heavy rains.

Places like Mahalakshmi, Lalbaug, Parel, Lower Parel, Worli, Dadar, King’s Circle and Sion get inundated with water and even buses and trucks find it difficult to navigate through the wide roads when it rains heavily. The situation gets aggravated when heavy rains coincide with high tide. This year, the authorities have identified almost 25 days when tide levels will be more than 4.5 metres. If it rains heavily during this period, it could cause enormous problems in low-lying areas.

The two suburban corridors of Mumbai — Western and Central railway — carry about 6.5 million commuters daily and are the lifeline of the city. And when heavy showers lash Mumbai, the railways are the first to pack up, with signal failures and rakes moving at a snail’s pace. Tracks get flooded and commuters have to wait patiently in the trains for hours, or wade through waist-deep water for hours to reach their work places or homes. — nithin@khaleejtimes.com


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