NDTV. 29th AUGUST, 2017-Mumbai gasped in waist-deep water today, lashed by what weathermen believe could be the worst rain since July 2005, when the city was devastated by floods. Citizens were advised to stay in “unless absolutely necessary” or go home early after the city received, in three hours, nine time more rain than average.
Incessant rain flooded low-lying areas of India’s commercial capital and paralysed train services, with many stranded at stations. Poor visibility hit flights. Thousands waded through water to reach home and children were sent home early from school.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he has spoken to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and assured all possible support. “Urge the people of Mumbai and surrounding areas to stay safe and take all essential precautions in the wake of the heavy rain,” he added.
“It isn’t a panic situation but only step outside your house is absolutely necessary,” said Aditya Thackeray, whose Shiv Sena party controls the city’s civic body BMC.
With the rain and the high tide overloading an ageing drainage system, people could be in for worse floods. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been called in.
The Maharashtra government ordered offices to allow employees to leave early. All schools and colleges in Mumbai will remain closed tomorrow, said Education Minister Vinod Tawde.
After a continuous downpour, most of Mumbai was submerged by afternoon. People were advised to avoid beaches and promenades, which will impact the ritual immersion of Ganesha idols, an annual event.
“This is not a river, but a road,” an NDTV correspondent said, standing in water at Lower Parel in central Mumbai. At Elphinstone, cars and bikes peeped out of flood-water.