New Delhi, Jul 18 (EFE).- At least 17 people were killed while many others remained missing on Sunday in incidents caused by heavy rains in Mumbai, capital of the western Indian state of Maharashtra, officials said.
At least 11 dead bodies were recovered in Chembur, an eastern suburb of Mumbai, and six other corpses were found in northern Vikhroli area, tweeted Satya Pradhan, the director of the National Disaster Response Force.
The deaths were caused by walls and residential buildings collapsing due to landslides caused by heavy rains.
Authorities have launched a search and rescue operation in both areas and it was not clear how many people remain trapped under debris.
Pradhan said that many houses had been affected due to flooding in the area.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his regret for the loss of lives in Mumbai.
“Saddened by the loss of lives due to wall collapses in Chembur and Vikhroli in Mumbai. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. Praying that those who are injured have a speedy recovery,” the prime minister’s office tweeted.
He also announced a compensation of 200,000 rupees (around $2,700) for the families of the deceased, while 50,000 rupees would be given as relief for injured persons.
Authorities have issued a red alert in the city, considered India’s financial capital, and warned citizens to stay indoors due to the risk of extremely heavy rains over the next few days.
According to the India Meteorological Department, heavy rains are expected to lash India’s west coast over the next 5-6 days, especially in the states of Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, with a similar warning also in place for the southern states of Karnataka, Kerala and Pondicherry.