These Terrifying Videos of Mumbai Floods is Proof that Nothing Has Changed Since the Deadly 26/7 Deluge


These Terrifying Videos of Mumbai Floods is Proof that Nothing Has Changed Since the Deadly 26/7 Deluge

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

Every year, Mumbai’s infrastructure struggles to cope with the monsoon, as heavy rains batter the city. However, if anything, 2020 is the year that ups the ante on bad news. And the rainfall recorded on Wednesday in the island city broke all previous records – Colaba in south Mumbai reported heaviest single-day rain in 46 years in August – leading to massive flooding and destruction of property the likes of which have not been seen in years. The scale of the damage and images in the media were reminiscent of the July 2005 deluge, which brought India’s financial capital to a standstill. This year as well, over 290 mm of rain and gusting winds with forces of up to 70 to 100 kmph placed Mumbai at the mercy of the weather gods yet another time.

While reports of waterlogging and uprooted trees came in from all over the city, it was South Mumbai that witnessed the heaviest rainfall. Many of Mumbai’s iconic landmarks were altered almost beyond the point of recognition. Public spaces like Girgaum Chowpatty and Churchgate, which do not usually witness flooding, were also waterlogged as the heavy rains coincided with the high tide in these sea-facing districts.

Mumbai’s JJ Hospital reported flooding in its casualty ward as rainwater rushed into the premises. Clips of the water rushing into the hospital made their way online. The BMC reported on Thursday morning that the water had been cleared from the hospital.

The strong winds also battered the Bombay Stock Exchange, with the massive BSE sign that crowns the building being knocked over, in what was an image emblematic of the pounding the city was receiving from the rainfall.

At the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal, the country’s largest container terminal, the wind and rain caused damage to three cranes.

The heavy flooding and force of water swept away cars and bikes parked on the streets.

The water gushed into many homes in low-lying areas.

The situation in Mumbai was so dire that Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to offer him all assistance in containing it.

For over a decade, the 26/7 floods of 2005 were the yardstick by which to measure the extent of damage rains caused to Mumbai. But Wednesday’s downpour, which is predicted to continue today, is proof that nothing has changed in the city in the last 15 years.