Floods, landslides and building collapses had claimed at least 786 lives in Maharashtra state prior to Thursday’s stampede in the suburb of Nehru Nagar which left a further 16 dead including seven children.
Eighteen people were also injured in the stampede, which followed reports that the dam holding back the waters of nearby Lake Pawai had burst.
Weather officials predicted more heavy rain for the city of 15 million, which has been brought to a near-standstill with schools, banks and stock markets closed and public transport barely operating.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who on Thursday toured the
rain-ravaged areas in a helicopter, said he was “deeply pained by this human tragedy” and announced emergency aid totalling seven billion rupees ($162 million) for the Maharashtra state government.
The city’s weather bureau said Mumbai received 944.2 mm
(37.1 inches) of rainfall in a 24-hour period ending mid-morning
on Wednesday, the most rainfall ever recorded in a single day in India and beating a record which has stood since July 1910.
Search for survivors
Rescue teams meanwhile continue to search with bare hands for survivors under debris.
Prime Minister Singh announced
Rescuers also rushed to aid to villages cut off by rains that paralysed Mumbai and its surrounding state.
At least 273 people died in Mumbai, India’s financial capital in Maharashtra state, after being crushed by falling walls, trapped in cars or electrocuted when the most intense rains on record swept through the city on Tuesday evening.
Phone networks collapsed and highways were blocked.
However, the main airport reopened early on Wednesday afternoon after being closed since Tuesday due to waterlogged runways.
Aside from allowing the resumption of commercial flights, the
reopening had allowed the air force to start flying in relief
Suburban trains – the lifeline of the city – were also limping
back to normal, a railway official said, but inter-city lines had
yet to be restored.
At least 513 people were reported dead in different parts of Maharashtra, said BM Kulkarni, the deputy secretary in charge of the state’s emergency control room in Mumbai.
About 76,000 animals have been killed, and 700,000 hectares
(1.72 million acres) of land and 283,000 houses have been damaged, said Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil.
He said 5.6 million people in 131 districts and 16,000 villages
have been affected by the floods.
Rescuers saved workers from
Meanwhile, rescuers battling towering seas through the night rescued 354 workers from a blazing Indian offshore oil platform, but at least 10 people died and a search was under way for several still missing, officials said on Thursday.
Oil Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar told parliament that 384 personnel had to abandon the platform when it caught fire on Wednesday afternoon.
“So far, 10 personnel are confirmed dead,” Aiyar said.
Aiyar told parliament that heavy sea swells pushed a nearby support vessel into the platform which sparked a blaze that engulfed and destroyed both.
State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp, which owns the platform, said 14 workers were still missing.