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Heaviest rainfall in more than a decade paralyses Mumbai, home to 20 million people
[NEW DELHI] Torrential monsoon rain over the last 24 hours has brought Mumbai, India's second most populous city, to a grinding halt. It received 375 millimeters of rainfall, the highest in 14 years, according to India's Meteorological Department. Very heavy rain is expected for another day, according to the forecast, before it eases.
Twenty-four people have lost their lives, according to local media reports, including two men in a car. The government of the state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, declared a public holiday Tuesday and requested the city's 20 million residents stay indoors. Despite being the country's financial hub, Mumbai's infrastructure struggles to cope with the annual monsoon.
Water in some streets rose to waist level, and low-lying areas of the suburbs were worst-hit.
Several residents took to Twitter to share dramatic images of their flooded homes.
Several trains, known as the city's lifelines, remained suspended as waterlogging choked the tracks. Over 2,500 people were stranded at one of the major stations because of long-distance train cancellations, reported the Indian Express.
Air traffic, too, was paralysed after a plane skidded off the main runway, forcing its closure at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport. Authorities said it could take up to two days for the runway to be reopened. While a second runway is operating, over 50 flights were canceled and an equal number diverted.
In 2005, more than 500 people died in mega floods caused by record rainfall.