This week heavy rains caused flooding in Mumbai, India’s financial capital, reports phys.org, as the summer monsoon hit the country.
Children had to wade through waters as high as their waist to go to school, while drivers had to push their vehicles in low-laying streets. Mumbai’s suburban railway, which dates back to the British era, one of busiest commuter rail systems in the world, suffered delays due to flooded tracks.
The summer monsoon usually starts in June and fades away by September or October, and accounts for nearly 80% of the rainfall in India. According to India’s Meteorological Department, 91 millimetres of rain fell in the city in 24 hours earlier this week.
Flooding during the monsoon is a major problem for Mumbai. The highest rainfall recorded in a single day was 950 millimetres in 24 hours in 2005, and caused the death of more than 500 people. Extreme rainfall collapsed transport in the city in August 2017, with 10 people reported dead.
However, activists report that the city has become more susceptible to floods in recent years. Population growth has led to rampant development, and the former mangrove areas, which helped drain water, have disappeared to make room for high-rises. To complicate things, up to 50% of the population live in slums.
The heavy rains come after a heatwave hit parts of India earlier this month, with temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius.