India’s weather department has issued a red alert for Mumbai as heavy rains continue to lash the city and its neighbouring districts.
The city is expected to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall on Friday, leading to more floods, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
Parts of the city have been inundated in waist-deep water since Monday, bringing life to a standstill. Monsoon rains are common in Mumbai around this time of the year.
But experts say climate change and unchecked urban development has made rains more intense and less predictable in recent years.
Thousands of people migrate to Mumbai every day in search of jobs which fuels rapid construction, that is very often unregulated.
Many areas have ageing drainage systems and that causes flooding as well. The city’s vast mangrove swamps, which act as a natural buffer during floods, have also been built over in the past few decades.
On Thursday, Mumbai’s civic body banned peo-ple from visiting beaches on the days for which the weather forecasting agency has predicted heavy rainfall.
In many areas, waterlogging led to huge traffic snarls and people were seen wading through brown and black murky water which flooded the streets.
Bus services and commuter trains – which are the lifeline of the city’s transport system – were also disrupted, leaving people stranded on stations for hours.
Heavy rains have also battered Mumbai’s neighbouring districts. Traffic on a key national highway connecting Mumbai to the tourist state of Goa was diverted after a landslide in Chiplun city.
Authorities said that work to remove the debris was underway, but that the movement of vehicles along the route would be affected for least two days, news channel NDTV reported.—AFP