Monsoon rains have caused wall collapses that killed more than 30 people in India after a second day of bad weather disrupted rail and air traffic in the financial capital Mumbai, prompting officials to shut schools and offices.
- More than 300 millimetres of rain fell over 24 hours in some areas of Mumbai
- The rain caused the collapse of several buildings, including a wall at a school
- Heavy rainfall is expected to continue, with authorities advising people to work from home
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.
On Tuesday, 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 at least 21 people and injuring more than 60 others.
Ten others died elsewhere in Maharashtra state, including three who were killed when a school wall collapsed in the city of Kalyan, 42 kilometres north of Mumbai.
In the nearby western city of Pune, six construction workers died 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 millimetres 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 while landing, an airport spokeswoman said.
The secondary runway was 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..
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation
- © ABC