5 killed as floods swamp India’s fi­nan­cial hub

Mon­soon kills 1,200 in South Asia as all eyes are on Har­vey

The Korea Times - - WORLD -

MUM­BAI (AFP) — At least five peo­ple were killed as heavy mon­soon rain del­uged India’s fi­nan­cial cap­i­tal Mum­bai, caus­ing trans­port chaos and forc­ing schools and many of­fices to close on Wed­nes­day.

The coastal city of more than 20 mil­lion peo­ple is the latest to be hit by floods that have rav­aged South Asia this mon­soon sea­son, af­fect­ing mil­lions of peo­ple across India, Nepal and Bangladesh and killing over 1,200.

Au­thor­i­ties in Mum­bai said at least five peo­ple had died since the in­tense rain­fall be­gan on Tues­day, mak­ing roads im­pass­able and briefly shut­ting the sub­ur­ban rail net­work on which mil­lions of com­muters de­pend.

“Five peo­ple have died in the Mum­bai floods. Four of them in­clud­ing two chil­dren died due to wall col­lapse in the slums and an­other per­son died due to elec­tric shock,” Tana- ji Kam­ble, a local gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial, told AFP.

Kam­ble said the rains had eased by Wed­nes­day. “We are mon­i­tor­ing the safety sit­u­a­tion across the city and things are re­turn­ing to nor­mal.” Cars were sub­merged and com­muters waded through waist-deep wa­ter on Tues­day evening.

“I could not find any mode of trans­port and spent my night on the streets in­stead of try­ing to reach home,” said 62-year-old Gan­gadin Gupta.

He said many peo­ple had been left stranded for much of the night un­til the rail net­work re­opened early Wed­nes­day.

Res­i­dents of Dhar­avi, one of Asia’s big­gest slums and home to more than a mil­lion peo­ple, said much of the low-ly­ing area was un­der wa­ter.

“Most of the shanties and houses in Dhar­avi were sub­merged in wa­ter and we lost all our valu­ables,” said Sel­vam Sathya, 45.

“All of us took refuge on the first floor of dif­fer­ent build­ings and the wa­ter only started re­ced­ing this morn­ing... I lost all my be­long­ings in the flood­ing.”

The trans­port chaos forced the city’s famed dab­bawal­lahs, who take hun­dreds of thou­sands of hot lunches from com­muters’ homes to of­fices ev­ery day, to can­cel their de­liv­ery.

Many of the more than 5,000 dab- bawal­lahs were left stranded in the city overnight, a spokesman for the Mum­bai Dab­bawallha As­so­ci­a­tion told the Press Trust of India.

The flood­ing brought back memories of 2005 when around 950 mil­lime­ters (37 inches) of rain fell on Mum­bai in just 24 hours, killing more than 1,000 peo­ple.

Elec­tric­ity, wa­ter sup­ply, com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­works and pub­lic trans­port were to­tally shut down dur­ing the 2005 catas­tro­phe, which was blamed on un­planned de­vel­op­ment and poor drainage in the western city.

AFP-Yon­hap

In­di­ans wade through a flooded street dur­ing heavy rain show­ers in Mum­bai, Tues­day. Heavy rain brought India’s fi­nan­cial cap­i­tal Mum­bai to a vir­tual stand­still, flood­ing streets, caus­ing trans­port chaos and prompt­ing warn­ings to stay in­doors.

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