Red alert issued after heavy rain causes travel chaos in Mumbai

Indian city partially flooded, disrupting rail, road traffic, shutting offices as more rain expected over comings days.

mumbai floods
Motorists drive through a flooded road during a heavy monsoon rain in Mumbai [Indranil Mukherjee/AFP]

Authorities in the Indian city of Mumbai issued a red alert on Tuesday and warned people not to venture out after heavy overnight rain in the financial hub brought flooding and travel chaos.

Some suburbs have seen more than 300mm (12 inches) of rain in the 24 hours to Tuesday morning and more heavy rain is expected over the next two days, said India Meteorological Department (IMD) official KS Hosalikar.

The department issued a red alert for the city for the next two days, and civic authorities advised people not to venture out unless absolutely necessary.

Trains, already running skeleton services due to the novel coronavirus lockdown, were suspended in several places because of flooding and traffic was disrupted on some of the city’s main roads.

A landslide swept down a slope onto a main road in a northern suburb, media reported.

There was no impact on operations at Mumbai’s airport apart from reduced visibility, a representative said.

The city struggles with the monsoon rains every year as widespread construction and rubbish-clogged drains and waterways make it increasingly vulnerable to flooding.

Mumbai is also struggling with a surging coronavirus outbreak with an average of 1,000 new cases being reported every day.

mumbai floods
Commuters wade in waist deep water crossing a flooded road during a heavy monsoon rain in Mumbai [Indranil Mukherjee/AFP]
Source: Reuters