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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 July 2005, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Rains return to devastated Mumbai
Mumbai's downpours

Torrential monsoon rains have returned to the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) as it tries to recover from flooding that has left nearly 900 dead.

Police urged people to stay at home and meteorologists warned the downpours would continue, hampering relief work.

Much of the transport system has again ground to a halt and thousands have protested on the streets at what they say is government inaction.

Rescuers elsewhere in Maharashtra state are still finding bodies in landslides.

Officials say the final death toll could top 1,000.


The BBC's Zubair Ahmed says heavy rain returned on Sunday morning and despite warnings from the police to stay at home, panicked residents of densely populated suburbs came out on to the streets as the water levels rose.

We are appealing to people not to travel unless it is absolutely necessary
AN Roy,
police commissioner

Our correspondent says there is widespread anger at government inaction, particularly with animal carcasses and human bodies floating in the streets causing fears of epidemics.

Thousands of residents protested against power blackouts and the lack of drinking water. In central Mumbai, some citizens say they have been without electricity for five days.

Construction worker Hafeez Irani, told Associated Press: "For so many days we have been lifting the bodies of the dead and now we are clearing animals from the roads. Is this our work? The drains are choked. We still have no electricity."

Another resident, Josy John, said: "The infrastructure in the city has collapsed but people have a very short memory. We seem to forget and forgive and don't come up with a constructive plan."

Municipal commissioner of Mumbai, John Joseph, told the AFP news agency the administration was doing its best and all holiday had been cancelled.

But he admitted: "The administration is stretched... The latest spell of rain will definitely hamper our efforts. But we hope to clear tonnes of garbage piled on the roads by the end of Sunday."


Police toured the affected areas calling through loudspeakers for calm and for residents not to believe rumours. On Thursday, 22 people died in a shantytown in a stampede caused by a false report of a tsunami.

Rescuers are still reaching areas like Dudhgaon 570km from Mumbai

The downpours began last weekend and on Tuesday Mumbai received more than 65cm (26 inches) of rain - the heaviest recorded in India's history, causing havoc in a city known for its inadequate infrastructure.

About half of those killed in Maharashtra have died in Mumbai - drowned, electrocuted or buried in landslides.

Mumbai's airport, closed for two days last week, again shut for a number of hours on Sunday before some flights could resume.

On Saturday, an Air India Boeing 747 carrying more than 300 passengers skidded off the runway, although no one was hurt.

The spread of waterborne epidemics remains a major concern.

About 200 medical teams have left Bombay for affected towns and villages elsewhere in the state, while 30,000 health workers have been deployed in the city.

One of the worst-hit areas - Raigarh district, 150km (94 miles) south of Bombay - continues to yield bodies . About 200 people are reported dead or missing.

Maharashtra relief commissioner, Krishna Vatsa, said: "The death toll in Raigarh is likely to go up by another 100. [The overall total] may touch around 1,000."

See the damage caused by the flooding

Lucky escape for Mumbai jumbo jet
30 Jul 05 |  South Asia
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
Indian villagers tame floods
28 May 04 |  South Asia
India's river plans spark furore
19 Aug 03 |  South Asia


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