The Mumbai Floods
July 31, 2005 5:57 PM   Subscribe

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005, was a wet day for the city of Mumbai, India (formerly Bombay), to say the least. Within 12 hours, it rained more than half the average annual rainfall. Upwards of 400 people are believed to have died, with more in adjacent regions. In many regions, the water rose as high as five feet. All transportation links to the rest of India were severed. Within the city, many commuters who left work, for home, on Tuesday evening, didn't reach home till Wednesday night. There have been substantial financial and ecological damages. The state apparatus was caught offguard and proven unprepared; the police were nowhere to be found, and the meteorological department found wanting with their warnings. The rumour-mongering of an incoming tsunami or cyclone also didn't help, as 24 people died in the resulting stampede. Alas, just as one is relieved that the ordeal is over, it appears there's yet more to come.
posted by Gyan (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
awful...did they have no warning of how heavy it would be?
posted by amberglow at 6:32 PM on July 31, 2005

"Heavy to very heavy showers", which doesn't quite cover it.
posted by Gyan at 6:34 PM on July 31, 2005

Just to clarify, that phrase doesn't convey the magnitude because it has been used before, with respect to much lighter rainfall.
posted by Gyan at 6:36 PM on July 31, 2005

Gyan's second-to-last link is to a rediff collection of stories. A good place to start. Can someone tell me a bit about that National Park? It's in the city? And people live in it and worry about panther attacks?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:40 PM on July 31, 2005

The park is technically within the city, yet kinda far from the most populated regions. There are slums surrounding the park perimeter but no habitation within (that I know of). Every couple of years, some leopard or panther escapes and mauls someone, but now with the enclosing barriers down, there is a more immediate and tangible fear.
posted by Gyan at 6:47 PM on July 31, 2005

Wow, as usual Flickr takes us there.
posted by wannabehippie at 6:50 PM on July 31, 2005

I currently have several vendors located in Mumbai who had been working on a project for me up until this happened. I've gotten a couple of text messages via cell phone from them. As of friday there was still no power and no land-line telephones. They mentioned maybe being able to get internet access tomorrow but were not sure. Sounds like a very bad situation which I'm sure will have some hard financial impacts.
posted by spicynuts at 7:08 PM on July 31, 2005

posted by adzm at 7:23 PM on July 31, 2005

One of my coworkers is visiting family in that immediate area right boss sent him email, but we haven't heard back yet as far as I know. Which doesn't particularly worry me -- I'm sure communications are pretty messed up there right now, and I'm sure he has better things to do at the moment. While we were talking about this my boss mentioned that he'd been in Building 5 of the World Trade Center and saw the first plane hit (news to me and a bit of a surprise, I can tell you). Some people have all the luck, I guess.
posted by uosuaq at 8:10 PM on July 31, 2005

37 inches of rain in 24 hours is a lot no matter where you live.
posted by Balisong at 8:31 PM on July 31, 2005

thanks, wannabe: check this out
posted by amberglow at 8:58 PM on July 31, 2005

so much of it is reclaimed land, too
posted by amberglow at 9:13 PM on July 31, 2005

I did not know it was possible to rain that much in such a short timespan. Wow.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:04 PM on July 31, 2005

That was more rain in one day than London gets in a year, just for perspective
posted by madman at 1:30 AM on August 1, 2005

Out of curiosity, is there some theoretical limit to how much rain can fall in a given timespan? I mean, surely there are meteorological factors that limit it? If so, is this close to that limit?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:09 AM on August 1, 2005

Wow. Nature's a bitch.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:58 AM on August 1, 2005

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