Maharashtra storm: 43 dead as Indian state pummeled by heavy monsoon rains

Indian residents walk along a waterlogged street in Mumbai on July 2, 2019, following heavy monsoon rains. (INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)

At least 43 people are dead and another 17 are still missing as heavy monsoon rains continue to pummel the western Indian state of Maharashtra, washing away houses and flooding transport hubs.

Seven people were killed after water gushed from a burst dam late Tuesday, washing away houses in Ratnagiri, a coastal district in Maharashtra, according to authorities.

Maharashtra is home to the country’s largest city, Mumbai.

Another 17 are still missing, Anupam Srivastava, the commandant of the National Disaster Response Force, told CNN.

“Seven villages have been completely inundated and the rescue teams have been moving residents living in these villages to safer places,” Srivastava said.

The storm has so far claimed the lives of 43 people across the state. In Mumbai, officials have declared the storm to be the worst the city has experienced in over a decade.

Around 8,000 people living in and around downstream villages in Ratnagiri have been warned about flooding, according to Datta Bhadakawad, a senior local civil administration official.

Mumbai brought to a standstill

Heavy rains brought Mumbai to a standstill Tuesday, with roads waterlogged with yellow-tinged water, disrupting schools, government, and transport.

Twenty-four people died after a retaining wall collapsed Tuesday onto huts in a settlement in the north Mumbai suburb of Malad, a spokesperson for Mumbai’s civic authority said Wednesday. Three others drowned along flooded roads in the Malad area, disaster management spokesman Tanaji Kamble told CNN.

Six construction workers died in the Pune district early Tuesday when the wall of a college fell on adjoining structures where the laborers were sleeping, a senior local official said.

In Thane district, just outside Mumbai, the wall of a school collapsed on temporary houses, killing three people, Prasad Thakur, a spokesperson for the local municipality body said.

Mumbai’s local government declared Tuesday a public holiday as the financial hub continued to be hit by downpours. The Indian Navy deployed teams in the city “to provide relief to rain hit and stranded Mumbaikars,” officials tweeted.

Mumbai airport’s main runway closed Tuesday after an airplane skidded off it, airport officials tweeted. Some train services were also canceled or suspended, tweeted Western Railway, which administers the city railway routes.

In the eastern neighborhood of Kurla, 1,000 people were evacuated as the Mithi River overflowed.

Worst in over a decade

Although Mumbai experiences monsoon season every year, rain on Monday and Tuesday was the heaviest in more than a decade.

In the 24 hours ending Tuesday morning, Mumbai experienced 375.2 mm (14.77 inches) of rain, the highest total in a 24-hour period since 2005, when Mumbai received 940 mm (37 inches) of rain within 24 hours, according to K. S. Hosalikar, deputy director general at the Mumbai unit of the India Meteorological Department.

Mumbai has seen almost 800mm (32 inches) of rain since Friday, according to data analyzed by CNN Weather.

Although the monsoon is expected to continue over the next few days, it is not expected to be as intense, Hosalikar added.

Monsoon season has been slow to progress across India this year, running about two weeks behind schedule and more than 30% below expected rainfall since June 1 nationwide, CNN Weather found.

AlertMe
Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.