Heavy rains cause more flooding in Mumbai

In the past two days, 210 millimetres of rain have fallen, flooding roads and diverting air traffic. One plane skidded down the runway. Schools and universities remain closed. The intensity of weather events is due to climate change.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Torrential rains lashed Mumbai, Maharashtra’s largest city of some 20 million people, flooding its streets and leaving its neighbourhoods without power for a second time in weeks.

Although roads and the airport are getting back to normal after being shut down as a precautionary measure, schools and universities remain closed.

Meanwhile, a new weather system is expected in the next few hours, which could further complicate things for a city already on the verge of collapse.

Over the past two days 210 millimeters of rain fell on the city’s central districts, reaching 304 millimetres in Dahanu, near the city.

According to the India Meteorological Department, this is far above the critical threshold of 204 millimetres.

Yesterday’s rain affected local transportation and air travel. Because of low visibility, a SpiceJet Boeing 737 with 183 people skidded down the runway into the grass.

Passengers were evacuated using emergency chutes causing only fright. After the incident, more than 50 flights were diverted to other airports.

This year’s monsoons are causing serious damage in India, and more generally across South Asia. Floods and landslides have killed almost 1,400 people and affected the lives of at least 41 million people.

According to experts, the intensity of weather events is due to climate change.

On one hand, there have been more droughts. About 100 districts in India have witnessed drought-like situation in 10 of the last 17 years. This has had a negative impact on water supplies for domestic use, cattle and irrigation.

On the other hand, “extreme precipitation events” have brought exceptional amounts of water. In August alone, Mumbai received about 30 per cent of its annual rainfall in less than 24 hours.