The storm had brought the waters of the sea into the city, the storm was roaring, the roofs of the churches were scattered in the wind. Two thousand people were killed.
In this way, a Portuguese historian describes one of the worst hurricanes in the history of Mumbai that hit the shores of Mumbai in May 1618. In the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, this western coastal city of India was hit by several hurricanes. Mumbai was flooded due to heavy rains in 2005 and just three years ago, in 2017, there were also heavy monsoon rains, but none of them were the result of hurricanes.
The fast-growing city, the capital of India's financial activities and film industry, has survived hurricanes in modern times. Adam Sobel, an educator of ecological science at Columbia University, says Mumbai has not encountered a significant typhoon since 1891. But if the hurricane hits the west coast of India at a speed of 100 to 120 kmph on Wednesday, it will be a new record.
The Indian Meteorological Department is forecasting heavy rains, strong winds, tidal waves and hurricanes in the low-lying areas of Mumbai. According to the department, the hurricane could be as severe as Cyclone Amphan, which wreaked havoc in West Bengal about two weeks ago and killed 90 people.
Professor Sobel, who has researched Mumbai's ability to cope with hurricanes, says that in terms of the latest sequence, the hurricane, dubbed Cyclone Nisarg, is at its peak at speeds of up to 110 kmph. Professor Sobel says the storm's forecast is bad for Mumbai, but the intensity forecast is better than the last 12 hours when some estimator models were predicting a further increase in intensity.
In his book, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Thinkable, Amitabh Ghosh wonders what will happen when a Category 4 or Category 5 hurricane hits Mumbai with a speed of 240 kmph or it could be more.
"Earlier, when Mumbai was hit by a major hurricane, the total population of the city was less than one million," he writes. Today, it is the second biggest metropolitan city on the planet with a populace of more than 20 million.
"Such an increase in population in the city has also changed the atmosphere of the city, so the weather here, which is no exception, has a severe effect on it: for example, During the monsoon rains, the city is flooded.
According to Ghosh, "In some special cases, it has very devastating consequences." The city had suffered such a catastrophe some time ago and there was no storm at that time.
In July 2005, Mumbai experienced one of the heaviest one-day rains in its history. 94.4 cm of rain was recorded in 14 hours that day. Roads were flooded by the rains, all means of transportation and electricity were disrupted, and millions of lives were paralyzed. More than 500 people were swept away, buried in collapsed buildings, killed by lightning, or suffocated in waterlogged vehicles.
Residents of the city are now praying that they will not have to face similar situations again.