[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Monday, 1 August 2005, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Millions suffer in Indian monsoon
Monsoon in Mumbai

Indian authorities say the lives of more than 20 million people have been disrupted by the heavy monsoon rains in Mumbai (Bombay) and surrounding areas.

Meteorologists warn of heavy rain and strong winds in the next 24 hours.

Repairing the damage could cost the city up to $10bn (5.7bn), a senior Indian official told the BBC.

A third of the city is said to be completely paralysed. Its centre is under water and the local transport system has been badly hit.

Indian officials have also warned that the number of people who have died could soon rise to 1,000, as rescue workers are still trying to recover bodies from flooded areas.

Anger

Authorities have urged Mumbai's residents to stay indoors.

Schools have been shut again. The Stock Exchange and some offices are open, but many employees are struggling to get to work.

There's no reason to panic but I advise people to remain indoors
AN Roy,
police commissioner

Despite earlier disruptions, flights are currently taking off from the airport.

There may be a respite from Tuesday, with rain forecast to ease.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has offered federal assistance to Maharashtra state, and ordered the army to help communities hit by the floods.

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

Thousands have protested on the streets at what they say is slow government response.

The BBC's Zubair Ahmed says there is widespread anger, particularly as animal carcasses and human bodies are floating in the streets, causing fears of epidemics.

Residents complain of power blackouts and a lack of drinking water. In central Mumbai, some citizens say they have been without electricity for five days.

Epidemics

Police are touring 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.

ASIAN MONSOON
Dudhgaon, 570km from Mumbai
The word 'monsoon' comes from the Arabic for 'season'
Describes seasonal reversals of wind direction
From April heat builds over South Asia, creating low pressure areas
Brings moisture-rich south-west winds in from the ocean

The downpours began last weekend and last 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.

The spread of waterborne epidemics remains a major concern. City workers sprayed insecticide to combat malaria.

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

Meanwhile in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, police say seven people have died and another four are missing presumed dead after floods in the city of Indore.

About 12,000 people were moved to safety as mud-walled houses and old buildings began to collapse.

The city has been hit by 15cm of rain in the past 24 hours.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Watch footage of the Indian floods




SEE ALSO:
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


RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific