With the rains in Mumbai unprecedented since 2005 in it’s ferocity, the city braces itself for another testing 48 hours.
Since Mumbai struggled in waist-deep water yesterday, pummelled by what weathermen believe could be the worst rain since July 2005. People were urged to stay home unless it was ‘absolutely necessary’ to venture out.
The city received NINE times more rain than the average yesterday, submerging most of the city in a scene out of an apocalyptic movie. The low-lying areas were completely immersed in water, with thousands of cars abandoned as they became pointless to use. The famous Mumbai locals were paralysed, with numerous people abandoned at stations.
“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. The BMC, inevitably, has come under heavy criticism for it’s hapless stance during the rains.
Mumbai’s ageing drainage system is unable to handle the downpour, leading to fears that people could be in for worse conditions over the next few days. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been called in.
Weathermen have cautioned people against scheduling meetings or flights at least till tomorrow. “Heavy to very heavy rain” has been predicted for at least the next 24 hours in Mumbai and its suburbs. The 2005 floods killed more than 500 people in the city with the vast majority of deaths occurred in shanty town slums, which are home to more than half of Mumbai’s 20 million population.
There were silver linings amongst the dark clouds hovering over Mumbai. The famous Mumbai Dabbawalahs or tiffin-men delivering lunch got off their bikes and walked, firm on completing their job even in the terrible weather. Animal rights activists helped the abandoned and stray animals on the streets, giving them food and shelter in these testing times.
Come hell or high water, Mumbai will survive. It’s resilience in the face of repeated adversity continues unabated.