July 5, 2006

Monsoon rains kill 41 in India, flood Mumbai

KOLKATA, India (Reuters) - Monsoon rains have killed 41
people across India over the past two days and continued to
disrupt life in the financial hub of Mumbai on Wednesday,
officials said.

At least nine people were swept away in flash floods in the
eastern coastal state of Orissa overnight, taking the death
toll in the state and neighboring Jharkhand to 33. The heavy
monsoon showers also damaged hundreds of hectares of rice

Landslides and flooding killed eight people in the southern
states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

In Mumbai, thousands of people waded through knee-deep
water to reach work on Wednesday as monsoon rains flooded homes
for a third day and disrupted road and rail transport.

"Our area has been under two feet water for two days,"
Sumit Tambhe, a resident of the western suburb of Andheri,

Officials asked people to stay at home as much as possible
and thousands could not go to work in the teeming city of 17

Metropolitan trains were running late as rain water
submerged rail tracks.

Dozens were reported missing in Orissa and in Andhra

"With so many people missing the toll could go up," said
Jagadananda Panda, a senior relief official in Orissa.

A low pressure trough over the eastern coast has caused
heavy showers in the region and revived India's June-September
annual monsoon that had hit a two-week lull early last month.

Nearly every year, the annual monsoon rains, vital for
India's agriculture and overall economic growth, kills hundreds
of people and causes huge swathes of devastation.

A year ago, two days of heavy rain showed up the pathetic
infrastructure and dismal emergency response in Mumbai, India's
richest city.

The floods had killed hundreds of people then and closed
down the city for nearly a week.