On Monday, Cyclone Tauktae became the strongest tropical storm to skirt across Mumbai in at least five decades. Such an intense storm has not come so close to the commercial capital—the eye of the storm was just 150 km away from Mumbai—at least since the satellite data became available in the 1970s.
Over the past 24 hours from Monday to Tuesday morning, many parts of Mumbai, like Juhu Airport and Ram Mandir, registered a whopping 300+ mm rainfall. The base station at Santacruz also witnessed 215 mm rainfall within 12 hours on Monday from 8.30 am to 8.30 pm.
Such rainfall fissures in the month of May are unheard of even for Mumbai. In fact, Monday marked the highest amount of rainfall recorded on a May day since bookkeeping started in the 19th century. The previous all-time high was 191 mm recorded 21 years ago on May 20, 2000. In the last ten years, it hadn’t rained more than a mere 3 mm on any day in the month of May!
n addition to a torrential downpour of more than 200 mm within 12 hours and over a meter high storm surge, the cyclone induced extremely rare, powerful, gusty winds of more than 100 kmph across the coastal city. A maximum wind speed of 108 kmph was recorded at the monitoring station at Colaba on Monday is perhaps the highest recorded wind gust at least in the last 70 years.
The squall uprooted more than 600 trees across the city As the resultant storm surge pushed high tidal waves against the fortunately deserted coast, gale winds and heavy rains destroyed thousands of homes and disrupted electricity supply and the city traffic.
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