MUMBAI, Aug 29 (Reuters) - A spell of incessant rain on Tuesday flooded several low-lying areas and paralysed train services in India’s financial capital of Mumbai, officials said.
Weather officials predict heavy seasonal monsoon rains in the city and its surroundings over the next 24 hours, following more than 100 mm (4 inches) of rain in Mumbai on Tuesday, and urged people to stay indoors.
“I have been trying to get to office for the last two hours, but have only made it halfway,” said Milan Shah, a marketing manager who trudged through the downpour only to find himself marooned at a central train station.
“I am now planning to try and get back home.”
Many businesses asked employees to leave early in expectations of worsening traffic jams, as the rain coincides with high tide conditions in the western coastal city, threatening to overload an ageing drainage system.
Tuesday’s congestion is also expected to be worsened by crowds flocking to perform the ritual immersion in the sea of idols of the Hindu god Ganesh, the conqueror of obstacles, in a major annual festival.
The harsh weather prompted many schools to send children home early, although others were on holiday for the festival.
The rain reduced visibility, forcing airport authorities to divert a few flights.
“Flights were delayed by around 20 minutes,” added Veena Chiplunkar, a spokeswoman for the Mumbai International Airport. (Reporting by Swati Bhat and Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)