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India's record-breaking rains kill over 500
Updated: 2005-07-29 07:10

Officials said 273 people died in Bombay, India's financial capital and the capital of Maharashtra. Most people drowned, were crushed by falling walls or were electrocuted.

The morning after the deluge, the government began warning people to remain in their offices or homes. But for some, who had set off from their offices Tuesday night, the warnings came too late.

"I lost count of the number of people who were electrocuted. There were clusters of people who stepped on exposed wires," said civic relief worker Arya B. "They should have just stayed where they were."

At least 513 people were reported dead across Maharashtra, said B.M. Kulkarni, the deputy secretary in charge of the state's emergency control room in Bombay.

On Thursday, the normally bustling city was concerned simply with getting itself back on track. The Bombay Stock Exchange did not open, and many banks and other financial institutions remained shut. Phone service was still spotty, some neighborhoods remained without electricity and stretches of some roads remained blocked by hundreds of cars abandoned when they stalled in the rain.

By evening, train services were back on track and the city's airports, among the busiest in the nation, were again open to flights.

Bombay's residents responded to the devastation by opening up their homes and distributing food to motorists stuck in traffic and people wading through water.

"They were just angels. Women and children were giving food, biscuits to people on the road and even assuring us that it was home-cooked," said G. Sawant, a manager at a private infrastructure company.
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