Home International 27 dead after heavy rains cause wall collapses in India

27 dead after heavy rains cause wall collapses in India

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Three people died when a school wall collapsed.

People look on as rescue workers search for survivors after a wall collapased on shanties due to heavy rains at a slum in Mumbai

MUMBAI, July 2 (Reuters) – Monsoon rains caused wall
collapses that killed 27 people in India on Tuesday, as a second
day of bad weather disrupted rail and air traffic in the
financial capital Mumbai, prompting officials to shut schools
and offices, though markets were open.

During every monsoon season, which runs from June to
September, India experiences fatal incidents of building and
wall collapses as rainfall weakens the foundations of
poorly-built structures.

Heavy rain brought a wall crashing down on shanties built on
a hill slope in Malad, a western suburb of Mumbai, a fire
brigade official said, killing 18 people.

“Rescue work is still going on,” the official added. “So far
we have rescued more than two dozen people.”

Three people died when a school wall collapsed in the city
of Kalyan, 42 km (26 miles) north of Mumbai.

In the nearby western city of Pune, six people were killed
in a wall collapse on Tuesday, a fire brigade official said,
after a similar incident on Saturday killed 15.

Mumbai is looking to turn itself into a global financial hub
but large parts of the city struggle to cope with annual monsoon
rains, as widespread construction and garbage-clogged drains and
waterways make it increasingly vulnerable to chaos.

More than 300 mm (11.8 inches) of rain fell over 24 hours in
some areas of Mumbai, flooding streets and railway tracks,
forcing the suspension of some suburban train services, which
millions of commuters ride to work each day.

About 1,000 people stranded in low-lying areas of the city
were rescued after a swollen river began to overflow, municipal
authorities said.

As weather officials forecast intermittent heavy showers and
isolated extremely heavy rainfall, authorities called a holiday
for government offices and educational institutions.

“Rain is expected to remain intense even today,” city
authorities said on Twitter. “We request you to stay indoors
unless there’s an emergency.”

Financial markets were open on Tuesday, though trading
volumes were expected to be lower than normal. Many firms asked
employees to work from home.

The main runway at Mumbai airport, India’s second biggest,
was closed from midnight after a SpiceJet flight overshot the
runway while landing, an airport spokeswoman said.

The secondary runway is operational, but 55 flights were
diverted and another 52 were cancelled due to bad weather, she
said.

In 2005, floods killed more than 500 people in Mumbai, the
majority in shantytown slums home to more than half the city’s
population.