Mumbai sees more rain, miseries mount

Mumbai, July 31:

Torrential rains today lashed Mumbai, disrupting flights, hampering rescue efforts and bringing more misery to the Indian city of 15 million still recovering from the heaviest downpours in its history. The driving rain cut rail and air services, officials said, as the local weather office forecast “moderate to heavy rains in next 24 hours” and the authorities appealed to residents not to leave their homes unless absolutely necessary. Heavy monsoon showers, which brought the western financial centre to a near-halt last week and claimed more than 900 lives across Maharashtra state resumed yesterday after a two-day respite and picked up force today. “Due to rough weather and poor visibility we have decided not to operate any flights from the Mumbai airport,” said Sudhir Kumar, director of the Airports Authority of India. Incoming domestic flights have been diverted to nearby airports, he said. Television footage showed hundreds of passengers waiting at Mumbai airport hoping for a restoration of services. The airport — India’s busiest — had been closed for two days last week due to torrential rains with flights resuming late Thursday. Officials said the death toll from the rains could reach 1,000. Today, officials said more bodies were likely to be recovered from Raigad district.