Image: Flooded street in Bombay
Aijaz Rahi  /  AP
People wade through a flooded street during heavy rains in Bombay, India, Sunday.
updated 8/1/2005 9:45:48 AM ET 2005-08-01T13:45:48

Renewed downpours lashed Bombay on Monday, slowing efforts to retrieve bodies as the death toll crept toward 1,000 after six days of rains that have paralyzed India’s financial capital.

Floodwaters poured into houses in Bombay’s northern suburbs, as navy divers tried to rescue people in low-lying areas. Residents were ordered to stay home for a second straight day as heavy rains pounded western India.

“We didn’t sleep the whole night seeing the water level rise,” said Shakuntala Nath, 68, standing outside her water-filled shanty home in the Santa Cruz district. “Everything is wet; our beds, furniture, all our belongings. When will this stop, I wonder?”

Flooding and landslides have killed 924 people in western Maharashtra state in six days. As many as 421 people were killed in Bombay alone, officials said. A record 37 inches fell Tuesday, cutting off the state from the rest of the country.

“The (death) toll is expected to cross 1,000,” said Maharashtra state’s rehabilitation secretary, K. Vatsa.

Bollywood shooting halted
The flooding forced Bollywood production companies to cancel film shoots. A group of powerful directors said they planned to sue Maharashtra’s government, alleging it failed to prepare the city and responded too slowly when the rains began — charges that officials deny.

“We are seeking the court’s intervention to protect the citizens’ rights to life and property,” said Majid Memon, a lawyer representing the group.

Schools and colleges remained closed Monday and streets were deserted. Commuter trains were mostly empty, as flooding threatened to submerge tracks.

“Trains are running, but they are running late. If the rains continue to be so heavy, we will have to stop (services),” said railway spokesman Shailendra Kumar. He added authorities had canceled long-distance train travel.

Bombay’s two main airports were open, but few flights took off.

Animal carcasses
Health workers in Bombay’s suburbs distributed medicine and disinfectants to guard against the spread of waterborne disease.

Electricity was gradually being restored to many neighborhoods after angry residents demonstrated on Saturday demanding the restoration of tap water, power and the cleanup of garbage and decomposing animal carcasses. Some 25,000 sheep and goats and 2,500 buffaloes drowned in Bombay, officials said.

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