At least 30 people have died in the Indian city of Mumbai in separate incidents after heavy rains triggered landslides and caused houses to collapse.
The rains battered the city in the state of Maharashtra over the weekend, causing severe waterlogging in several areas and disruptions in traffic movement.
While the rains briefly abated on Monday morning, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places in the city over a span of 24 hours from Monday morning.
Some independent forecasters have said that this spell of rainfall will continue until at least Friday, according to Hindustan Times.
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed local civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to be prepared for any eventualities and rescue teams to be on stand-by.
At least 21 people were killed in a wall collapse incident after a landslide in Mumbai’s Chembur area.
A 55-year-old woman said there was a “thud” sound when the wall collapsed. She told The Times of India that she had to crawl out of a small opening after her one-room tenement got buried as the debris came down.
A man said he had to watch helplessly as the bodies of his family members were removed from the debris after the landslide. He told Mid-day: “I saw my family die in front of my eyes and couldn’t do anything to save them.”
The 28-year-old managed to pull himself out of the rubble after two houses fell on his house, but his family members were trapped. “Before the neighbours could come, a live wire fell on my house. Every time I tried entering the rubble of my house, I got an electric shock,” he said.
Meanwhile, two women in the same locality stood on a wooden ladder for about two hours to avoid getting electrocuted. Everyone panicked as the wall collapsed and started shouting that electric current was spreading in the area, one of the women told news agency PTI.
There have also been reports of people dying from electrocution in Mumbai. In Vikhroli, at least ten people died after heavy rains triggered a landslide.
Some areas in Mumbai — like Colaba and Santacruz — recorded extremely heavy rainfall between Saturday and Sunday but most of it happened in a short intense spell. Experts said that such short bursts of intense rain are due to climate change, warning that Mumbai and India’s west coast need to be better prepared, according to Hindustan Times.