It’s that time of year again when heavy rains in the Indian city of Mumbai and nearby areas have disrupted the lives of millions of people in the country’s financial capital.
Many parts of the city remain submerged in the medium-deep waters as incessant rains ravage the city, causing flooding and waterlogging.
No deaths have been reported so far, but India’s weather service has issued an orange warning for the city and neighboring districts, forecasting heavy to very heavy rain over the next five days.
Teams from the National Disaster Response Force – a specialized force that responds to life-threatening disasters in the country – have been deployed to the city as a precaution.
Monsoon rains are common in the state of Maharashtra – where Mumbai is located – around this time of year. They are also central to people’s lives, shaping the fate of millions of farmers who depend on the rain to grow their produce.
But experts say climate change has made rain exceptionally heavy and less predictable in recent years, and uncontrolled urban development often leads to flooded streets and homes and causes traffic congestion.
Thousands of people migrate to Mumbai every day in search of jobs that encourage rapid construction, which is often unregulated. Many areas have outdated drainage systems and that also causes flooding. The city’s vast mangrove swamps, which act as a natural buffer during floods, have also been built on in recent decades.
On Tuesday, residents were seen wading through foul-smelling water as sewers overflowed and roads filled with mud. Commuter trains – the lifeblood of Mumbai’s transport system – were disrupted in many areas, bringing the usually bustling city to a halt.
In the Thane district, many residents from low-lying areas have moved to storm shelters as water sloshed through their homes. And the Kundalika River, located on the outskirts of Mumbai, flowed above the danger level, PTI news agency reported.
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