Alert Issued As Mumbai Records Nearly 50% Of Yearly Rainfall In Less Than One Week
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The Indian government has issued a red alert in Mumbai after the city received more than 70 percent of its expected monthly rainfall in just six days.
The bustling metropolis has long maintained a reputation of being an extremely wet city, typically recording an average volume of 2,205mm of rainfall – nearly four times that of London.
Yet despite monsoons being a frequent occurrence throughout the summer months, this year the city has already registered 643mm of rain in the first week of July alone, which amounts to around 43 percent of the region's expected annual rainfall.
If these trends continue, then Mumbai residents can expect to receive an additional 200mm of rain over the next two days. This has prompted the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to declare a red alert for the next 24 hours.
"Red alert in Mumbai from 1 pm today till next 24 hours. We request Mumbaikars to plan their travel and schedules likewise,” the IMD alert read.
"Fairly widespread/widespread rainfall and thunderstorm/lightning with isolated heavy rainfall are very likely over Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat state, Kerala and Mahe, Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam, Telangana and Karnataka during the next 5 days."
Experts fear that if the rain continues overnight the water level of the Panchganga and other rivers will reach the warning mark (39 feet), which could lead to widespread flooding throughout the city.
oFairly widespread/widespread rainfall & thunderstorm/lightning with isolated heavy rainfall very likely over Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat state, Kerala & Mahe, Coastal Andhra Pradesh & Yanam, Telangana and Karnataka during next 5 days. pic.twitter.com/w7adaHIa3J— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) July 7, 2022
In addition to the rainfall, the coastal city, which sits on the edge of the Arabian Sea, is also facing the prospect of being battered by 12ft waves due to rough seas, leading district authorities to issue an additional warning advising tourists and fishermen to stay away from the beaches.
The department has also warned of the possibility of occasional strong winds of up to 40-50km/h hitting the coastline, further exacerbating the problem.
In a report published earlier this year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that Mumbai was at risk of suffering from severe flooding due to its frequent monsoons and rises in sea levels.
#WATCH | Maharashtra: As Mumbai records 95.81 mm of rain in the last 12 hours, Sion Circle in Mumbai faces severe waterlogging.— ANI (@ANI) July 5, 2022
CM Eknath Shinde has directed officials to keep a vigil & keep the NDRF squads ready. pic.twitter.com/l3reZB3Fn7
Large portions of the city are predicted to disappear underwater in coming decades as a direct result of climate change.
Mumbai’s problems are further worsened by a new governmental decree to allow for deforestation of the protected Aarey forest area – a vast mangrove swamp often described as ‘India’s Amazon’ – which has typically acted as a natural buffer against floods.
Meanwhile, other parts of India are also at risk of flooding as further rainfall alerts have been issued for Kerala and parts of the northern Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh.
Additional flooding in northeast India has also led to dozens of deaths and thousands being displaced.
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