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McKinsey says 3mn Mumbaikars under ‘severe’ threat from floods

Extreme weathers will accompany these phenomena, with 100 km/hour wind speeds becoming the new normal during storms

A study conducted by private research group McKinsey & Co has revealed that three million Mumbaikars living within a km of the island city’s coastline may face severe floods in the near future.

The analysis, released on February 27, reveals that due to climate change, sea levels will also rise and the incidence of storms will increase too.

The researchers identified multiple hazards that may strike Mumbai’s coast by 2050, with increased intensity, as a result of climate change, Hindustan Times report.  The analysis is based on a report titled ‘Climate risk and response: Physical hazards and socioeconomic impacts’, which was released by the research group at the World Economic Forum earlier this year.

However, the data was processed and streamlined to highlight the details specific to Mumbai during the Climate Crisis Conclave held on February 27. It was co-hosted by non-profit organisation Mumbai First and the Maharashtra government.

It was learnt at the conclave that the Maximum City runs a risk of witnessing 25 percent increase in the intensity of flash-floods by 2050. The average flood depth is also expected to rise from 0.46 metre to 0.82 metre by the same period. Extreme weathers will accompany these phenomena, with 100 km/hour wind speeds becoming the new normal during storms.

This will also have a grave economic impact as flooded area (for every 0.05 metre) may rise to 60 percent due to which infrastructure damage and consequent cost to fix it would increase to $920 million from $580 million.

Speaking about the importance of such a report, Shirish Sankhe, Senior Partner, McKinsey (Mumbai), said: “We need to factor in climate risk in our decision-making architecture. For example, if storm surge and sea levels increases by one metre then we may need coastal walls to withstand the impact. Mumbai has the money and many of these things can be done better for the financial capital than other cities. If there is understanding emerging, then intent will emerge.”

Praveen Pardeshi, the Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai, stressed on the need to construct climate-resilient infrastructure and mitigation measures like building Miyawaki plantations such as the ones Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is focusing on.

He admitted that Mumbai is not 'well prepared' to handle such adversities because climate risks are usually not factored in while designing infrastructure.

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