Dam Bursts Near Indian Village, Killing 11

By Reuters
July 3, 2019Worldshare
Dam Bursts Near Indian Village, Killing 11
Indian police are getting a dead body into an ambulance outside the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel in Mumbai, India on Nov. 29, 2008. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

MUMBAI—Heavy monsoon rains caused the breach of a small dam in western India, washing away dozens of homes and killing at least 11 people with 13 missing, a government official said on Wednesday.

Seasonal rains have crippled India’s financial center of Mumbai this week, disrupting rail and air traffic in the city of 18 million, while wall collapses have killed more than 30 people.

Tuesday’s breach of the Tiware dam in the coastal district of Ratnagiri, nearly 275 km (170 miles) south of Mumbai, washed away dozens of homes, an official of the Maharashtra state government said.

Eleven bodies have been recovered and search teams are looking for 13 missing villagers, but the chances of finding them alive are remote, the official said.

State officials have asked the National Disaster Response Force to help find the missing.

Villagers had complained months ago about cracks in the 14-year-old dam and repairs were made, state Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan told reporters.

The state government has ordered an investigation, he said.

In every monsoon season, from June to September, India suffers fatal incidents of building and wall collapses as rainfall weakens the foundations of poorly-built structures.

Indian school child walk along a flooded street
Indian school children walk along a flooded street after heavy rain showers in Mumbai on July 1, 2019. (PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescue workers look for survivors among the debris of a collapsed wall of a residential complex in Pune
Rescue workers look for survivors among the debris of a collapsed wall of a residential complex in Pune, India, on June 29, 2019. (Reuters/Stringer)

Heaviest Rain in a Decade

Extreme rain also flooded roads in Mumbai and covered train tracks on July 1. According to Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, the rainfall was the heaviest in a decade and second-highest in 44 years.

Rains subsided by midday Tuesday but weather officials predicted more heavy precipitation in the next three days.

Wall collapse in Mumbai 1
Rescuers and onlookers stand at the spot of a wall collapse in Mumbai, India on July 2, 2019. (Rafiq Maqbool/AP Photo)

The city has witnessed incessant rainfall over the past few days and floodwaters have entered homes. A public holiday was declared for Tuesday and the Maharashtra government said only emergency services would be functional.

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted: “People are advised to stay indoors unless there is any emergency.”

Weather officials said Mumbai received the highest rainfall in a decade over a two-day period since Sunday. TV channels showed videos of submerged cars and water flowing through ground floors of some residential buildings.

A domestic flight skidded off the main runway at the Mumbai airport late Monday night, and flight operations were partially restored on Tuesday. At least 50 domestic and international flights were diverted and 50 other flights were canceled.

Flight run off runway Mumbai
A domestic flight that skidded off the main runway late Monday night during heavy monsoon rains is seen at the Mumbai airport in Mumbai, India on July 2, 2019. (Rafiq Maqbool/AP Photo)

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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