Mumbai gasped in waist-deep water today, lashed by what weather officials believe could be the heaviest and longest rain since July 26, 2005, when the city was devastated by floods. Citizens have been advisedto stay in "unless absolutely necessary" or go home early after the city received, in three hours, atleast nine times more rain than average.
"Typhoon-like weather" - as industrialist Anand Mahindra called it - left roads flooded, freezing road and train traffic and hitting flights at the Mumbai airport. "It isn't a panic situation but only step outsideyour house is absolutely necessary," said Aditya Thackeray, whose Shiv Sena party controls the city's civic body.
If the rain coincides with high tide at 4.30 pm, overloading an ageing drainage system, people could be in for worse floods. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force are on stand-by.
The Maharashtra government has ordered offices to allow employees to leave early.
It rained incessantly since morning - along with strong winds - and by afternoon, most of Mumbai was submerged. People were advised to avoid beaches and promenades, which will impact the ritual immersion of Ganesha idols, an annual event.