Vol. 5 Num 70 Thu. August 05, 2004  

Heavy downpour disrupts life in Maharashtra
Train services from Mumbai cancelled

Continuous rainfall in many parts of India, particularly Maharashtra and Gujarat has led to flood situation disrupting the normal life.

In Mumbai one person was killed and 14 others injured in separate incidents of wall collapse yesterday as rain continued to lash the city and various parts of Maharashtra for the second consecutive week, leading to overflowing of rivers, dams and disruption of rail and road traffic.

Movement of local and long-distance trains, both on the Central and Western lines were affected due the heavy downpour, railway sources said.

The trains that were cancelled on Wednesday included Ferozepur-Janata Express, Saurashtra Express, Paschim Express and Vidyanagari Express, the sources said.

The situation was no good in Gujarat where at least 21 people were killed as heavy rains lashed Bharuch district of south Gujarat bringing life to virtual halt even as situation was improving in worst-affected Valsad district and Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, officials said today.

In Vadodara district, six persons were swept away and feared drowned in turbulent Hiran river in Moti Dungari on Tuesday, Collector Bhagyesh Jha said.

"We have received 200 mm of rains in just four hours since past midnight. At present I can confirm 21 deaths, mainly due to several house collapses of which 15 are in the city alone," Bharuch Collector Rajiv Topno said.

He said at least 1,000 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas.

"Due to topography of Bharuch, there is no heavy waterlogging as most of the rain water flows away into Narmada," Topno said.

In Bharuch, Ankleshwar recorded 200 mm, Bharuch city 210 mm, Jhaghadia 112, Hansot 84 and Valia 78, state flood control room sources said.

The death toll from monsoon rains in the western Indian state of Gujarat has risen to 151, an official of the state flood control room told AFP yesterday. .

"The death toll for this monsoon season which began around two weeks ago has hit 151," said an official of the Gujarat state flood control room, adding the flooding only assumed serious proportions in recent days.

"This is the worst flooding since 1998," said Gujarat Home Secretary K. Nityanandam, as soldiers using boats and helicopters plucked people sheltering on high ground to safety after waters up to 10 feet (three metres) high submerged roads and flooded dwellings in southern Gujarat.

The army and air force were called into airlift people in low-lying areas in at least three villages of southern Gujarat.