Heavy rains, floods put western India on alert
New Delhi, Jul 5 (EFE).- Intense monsoon rains put western India on alert Tuesday, causing the overflow of rivers, landslides and floods that also affected the financial city of Mumbai and its 20 million inhabitants.
Authorities in the state of Maharashra, of which Mumbai is the capital, issued a warning alert in at least six districts and ordered rescue teams to be deployed to prepare for the evacuation of civilians, according to a tweet by the state government head Eknath Shinde.
The situation is particularly delicate in Mumbai, where some of the main rivers have crossed their usual levels, severely affecting several suburbs, Shinde added.
The situation in the region has forced the temporary closure of metro services in the metropolitan area and the diversion of bus routes, following the inundation of several main streets of the city.
Rail services, considered to be Mumbai’s main mode of transport, for the time being, continued to operate normally, with the exception of some delays caused by rainfall, the railway authorities said.
Footage on the Internet and local media showed Mumbai residents with umbrellas wading through knee-high water on the roads and sidewalks.
The heavy rains also caused significant material damage with the collapse of several houses due to landslides, although no deaths have been recorded yet.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast widespread rainfall with thunderstorms in western and southern India over the next five days.
Heavy monsoon showers are also expected in several regions of northern India, such as Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, according to the IMD.
Monsoon rains have also severely affected northern and northeastern India, where at least 231 people have died in the past three weeks, and millions others have been affected.
These rain related incidents are common in South Asia at the peak of the monsoon season between July and August, which every year leaves hundreds dead and millions affected in the region. EFE