Record rains disrupt life in Mumbai, India

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Mumbai, India's largest city and financial capital, received a record-high rainfall on Tuesday, July 26. The rain left many parts of the city flooded. Landslides and other related effects of the rain claimed more than 100 lives in Mumbai and the surrounding areas.

Transportation was seriously affected, as the two main highways, railway lines, and the runways at Mumbai International airport remain submerged. Trains and city buses were shut down for 24 hours, and have not yet resumed full service. Domestic and international flights have been diverted out of Mumbai. Residents of buildings in low-lying areas are being rescued with boats and navy helicopters. Large numbers of Mumbai residents did not make it home from work, or spent the night in cars that were stranded on the road. The All India Radio reported that 150,000 people were stranded across different railway stations of the Mumbai Suburban Railway, which is considered the life line of Mumbai. Mumbai Suburban Railway partially commenced operating after thirty-six hours, from late evening on July 27.

The rainfall received in Mumbai's suburbs on Tuesday totaled 37.1 inches, which exceeds the world's record for highest rainfall in a single day (33.0 inches at Cherrapunji, Meghalaya, India).

The heavy rainfall has taken its toll on historic buildings as well. A building on Marine drive has been drowned up to the first floor. Mackichan Knight from IIMC mourns this irreparable damage.

As per Vilasrao Deshmukh, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, the rainfall cost the state $110m in damages.

Correction: This does not exceed the world's record for highest rainfall in a single day, but it does exceed India's previous record. (33.0 inches at Cherrapunji, Meghalaya, India).

The world record for rainfall in a 24-hour period was 75.98in which fell during a hurricane on Reunion Island near Madagascar.