NEW DELHI: As Mumbai was pounded yesterday by heavy rain that was 29 times more than usual, many spent the night in their offices or homes of friends and strangers - wiser since the horror of July 26, 2005. Their only consolation was that today's a holiday for schools, colleges and offices.
When the rain didn't let up all morning on Tuesday, children were sent back home early from school and offices advised employees to go home. But it was too late for many.
"My office is in Churchgate. I left early and went to Bombay Central. But my train stopped, after which I walked on the flooded tracks till Lower Parel," said an office-goer heading home this morning.
A relative called him and asked him to wait at his office. "So I spent the night at my relative's office," he said.
The Met office has predicted more rain in the next 24 hours and has urged people to stay indoors. Five people have reportedly died in the intense rain, heaviest since July 2005, when floods paralysed the city. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said: "Please stay home unless there is an emergency and you absolutely need to go out."
Local train services, which cater to millions of commuters daily, have been resumed on most of the stretches as water recedes. Many trains are running behind schedule. The railways ran trains through the night to evacuate all passengers.
A young woman getting into a car with a group of people said she stayed in office on her mother's advice.
"We were told to leave at 12:30 pm when it was raining very heavily. We waited at the Parel station for three hours on a train, then mom advised me to walk back to office," she told NDTV.
Another woman spent the night at her colleague's home near office. "My mother refused to let me return home. She had all relatives call me from various cities, even from the US," she shared.
One officer-goer complained that there was no prediction of such heavy rain in Mumbai, no advance warning for residents.
"It was all Dera (Gurmeet Ram Rahim's conviction) news day before yesterday, but nothing about Mumbai rain. Had they declared a holiday, there would have been no problem," he said.