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Water reservoirs nearly full, 8 500 rescued as record-breaking rains hit Mumbai, India

mumbai-reservoirs-flood-august-2019

Very heavy monsoon rains are affecting Indian financial capital Mumbai (population 18.4 million) since June 25, leaving the seven lakes and reservoirs supplying drinking water to the city almost full and at the highest levels since 2016. Officials said the supply can comfortably last up to September 2020 without any cuts.

Despite the delayed onset of monsoon, Mumbai recorded its highest July rainfall since 2014 with 1 268.4 mm (49.3 inches). Most of it fell between July 1 and 2 – 375.2 mm (14.7 inches) in 24 hours, followed by 219.2 mm (8.6 inches) on July 26 and 27.

The city received 1 468.5 mm (57.8 inches) of rain in July 2014, 359.1 mm (14.1 inches) in 2015, 926 mm (36.4 inches) in 2016, 869.74 mm (34.2 inches) in 2017 and 1 138.8 mm (44.85 inches) in 2018.

Heavy rains continued into August.

From June 25 to Sunday, August 4, it saw 2 394.4 mm (94.2 inches) of rain, which is more than its annual monsoon season average of 2 317.2 mm (91.2 inches). There are still two more months until the monsoon season in Mumbai is officially over.

In 24 hours to 08:30 IST on August 4, it recorded 204 mm (8 inches) of rain, making it one of its wettest August days on record. On August 30, 2017, it recorded 331.4 mm (13 inches), which is the highest for the decade and 15 mm (0.5 inches) short of all-time highest August 24-hr rainfall recorded on August 23, 1997 at 346.2 mm (13.6 inches). 

Hundreds of passengers were stuck across the city and nearby towns yesterday, after flooded rivers and undermined railway tracks forced authorities to cancel or divert dozens of long-distance trains. On the same day, the Indian Army and the Thane Municipal Corporation personnel rescued more than 8 500 people stranded in flooded Diva after authorities decided to release water from the overflowing Barvi dam.

Schools and colleges are closed on Monday, August 5.

Featured image credit: Lala Jr.

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