India – Heavy Rain and Floods Cause Major Disruption in Mumbai

Flooding caused major disruption to road and rail transport in Mumbai and areas of the surrounding state of Maharashtra on 04 September, 2019.

Navy personnel were called on to carry out high water rescues and evacuations in Mumbai, 04 September 2019. Photo: India Navy

The flooding came after hours of heavy rain. India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that Mumbai, Palghar and Thane saw heavy rainfall due to an area of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal.

The Santacruz observatory in the city recorded 214.4 mm of rainfall in 12 hours on 04 September. DD News, India’s Public Service Broadcaster, said that out of 150 weather stations in Mumbai and Maharashtra, 100 weather stations received 200mm of rainfall within 24 hours to 04 September.

The rain cause massive urban flooding, clogging streets, damaging homes and causing transport disruption including bus, train and flight cancellations. Personnel from the Indian’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Navy were called on to help with evacuations and rescues.

According to local media, the heavy rain combined with a high tide caused the Mithi river to break it banks, flooding nearby roads and railway lines. Around 4,500 people were rescued from trains stranded on flooded tracks. India’s Ministry of Railways said via Social Media:

“Due to incessant and heavy rains, water level rose above track level leading to suspension of services in some parts of Mumbai suburban section. Some trains held up enroute. Around 4500 passengers were quickly and safely escorted/evacuated. Buses arranged for them.”

Railway authorities rescued 4,500 people from trains stranded on flooded tracks in Mumbai, 04 September Photo: India Central Railways / Ministry of Railways

Earlier this year around 700 passengers were rescued from a train stranded in flood water in Badlapur, Thane District, near Mumbai, on 27 July 2019. After a massive evacuation operation involving personnel from the military and the NDRF, all 700 passengers were successfully rescued.

The Mithi River runs through the city and in previous times served as an important storm water drain. Sadly over the years it has become blocked with sewage, trash and makeshift housing. The poor state of the river was blamed for much of the destruction and death caused by massive flooding in Mumbai in July 2005.

Social Media