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India Monsoon Rains Wreak Havoc in Mumbai

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India Monsoon Rains Wreak Havoc in Mumbai
Bernadine Racoma

Since Sunday, Mumbai has been inundated by heavy monsoon rains. Actually, many parts of the Indian subcontinent have been receiving more rainfall than they used to. Flights were cancelled, schools were closed, and roads were blocked particularly in India’s financial capital, Mumbai.

Incessant rain on Tuesday morning caused havoc in Mumbai, affecting land and air travel. In just three hours, the suburbs of Mumbai recorded 86 mm of rain. The day’s record was close to the monthly average rainfall normally received by the city. Some areas have reported receiving over 100 mm of rain since August 27.

Flooding in Mumbai

On Tuesday, airports were closed and public transport and train services were halted. Many people were forced to abandon their vehicles as floodwaters rose up to an adult person’s waist. Floodwaters entered several low-lying buildings as roads turned into murky rivers.

In some Mumbai hospitals, doctors and nurses waded through knee-high floodwaters in the wards to move their patients to the upper floors.

Flood Victims

Flooding in the city of Mumbai has already claimed the lives of at least 10 people. But across India and Bangladesh, the death toll due to monsoon rains and flooding has reached more than 1,000.

A doctor fell into a manhole. A man drowned because he was trapped inside his car. He was actually waiting for the flood to recede. In the low-lying coastal areas, many perished when the sea walls broke. Some people were swept away into the sea.

Several thousand commuters were left stranded because buses and train services were stopped.

Disaster in Bhendi Bazaar

Bhendi Bazaar is a historic district in Mumbai. It is a very populated area in the busy financial center. Because of the non-stop monsoon rains, a four-story building in the area collapsed on Thursday morning. At least seven people lost their lives due to the collapse of the building while about 40 more people are feared trapped in the rubble.

Residents, police and rescue workers joined hands to pull out 13 people out of the remains of the residential building.

Following the collapse, the authorities told residents living in a nearby building to vacate the premises as the building has developed cracks. Thousands of buildings around Mumbai are over a century old.

Authorities fear that these buildings might also collapse because their foundations are weakened partly by the heaviest rainfall the city has received in over 15 years and due to other environmental factors.

Building collapses and flooding are very common in India when the monsoon season from June to September sets in. However, the amount of rainfall that the subcontinent received this year is way above the usual amount. The worst rainfall and flooding happened way back in 2005.

Not only people are affected by the torrential rains and flooding. Animals are affected as well.

At the Kaziranga National Park, which is a wildlife reserve located in Assam, some animals were forced to flee to higher ground. The heartbreaking news is that many more died as almost the entire reserve was under water. At least 185 deer, 15 rhinos and a Royal Bengal tiger were confirmed dead due to the floods.

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