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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 July 2005, 17:15 GMT 18:15 UK
Maharashtra monsoon 'kills 200'
Mumbai commuters
Commuters struggle to work on Wednesday
Officials in India's Maharashtra state say about 200 bodies have been found following devastating monsoon rains.

Deputy chief minister RR Patil told the BBC that 83 of those killed were in the state capital, Mumbai (Bombay).

Officials say rain on Tuesday was the heaviest recorded in a single day in India. A third of Mumbai is deluged.

Schools are closed and trading on the Bombay Stock Exchange has been light. The armed forces have been called in to take part in rescue efforts.

Mr Patil says many more deaths were feared in the floods. Rescue teams are distributing food and drinking water, he said.

Villages inaccessible

Many flood victims drowned or were killed in mudslides caused by the heavy rain which began on Sunday.

Nearly one-third of Mumbai is under water

Outside Mumbai, two of the worst-hit areas are Raigad and Ratnagiri districts.

"We have not been able to reach some villages where more than several dozen people may be missing in landslides," Krishna Vatsa, the official in charge of the relief efforts, told Reuters news agency.

Officials say that more than 26 inches of rain fell in Mumbai on Tuesday.

One weather official said conditions were particularly bad because the rain had coincided with high tides.

'Stay indoors'

All domestic and international flights to and from Mumbai have been cancelled for a second day. Runways are under water and air traffic controllers and scores of other airport staff have not reported for work.

The navy has been called in to help some 150,000 people stranded in offices, roads, airports and railway stations in Mumbai since Tuesday afternoon.

The BBC's Zubair Ahmed in Mumbai says that most of the city's main roads are littered with vehicles in which the passengers spent the night.

Inter-city and commuter trains have been cancelled. The relief work in Maharashtra has been hampered by continuous rain.

"We have declared a public holiday and asked people to stay indoors," Chief Minister Deshmukh said. Schools are shut for two days.

Financial losses to Maharashtra are estimated to be over $110m. Mobile phone networks have suffered disruption.

Many workers stayed in their offices overnight as the waters made the journey home impossible.

The rain is predicted to continue for some time.

Monsoon floods at the end of June and early July left more than 50 people dead in neighbouring Gujarat state.

See the devastation caused by the monsoon

Maharashtra rains leave many dead
26 Jul 05 |  South Asia
Gujarat monsoon floods kill many
01 Jul 05 |  South Asia
Flood shuts India power project
28 Jun 05 |  South Asia
UN to launch Bangladesh appeal
28 Jul 04 |  South Asia
Indian villagers tame floods
28 May 04 |  South Asia
India's river plans spark furore
19 Aug 03 |  South Asia


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