During every monsoon season, which runs from June to September, India all too routinely experiences fatal incidents of building and wall collapses as rainfall weakens the foundations of poorly built structures.
This year, more than 300 millimetres (almost 12 inches) of rain fell over 24 hours in some areas of Mumbai, flooding streets and railway tracks, forcing the suspension of some suburban train services, which millions of commuters ride to work each day.
The main runway at Mumbai airport, India’s second biggest, was closed from midnight after a SpiceJet flight overshot while landing, an airport spokeswoman said. The secondary runway was operational, but 55 flights were diverted and another 52 were cancelled due to bad weather.
On Tuesday, heavy rain brought a wall crashing down on shanties built on a hill slope in a western suburb of Mumbai, killing at least 21 people and injuring more than 60 others.
Ten others died elsewhere in Maharashtra state, including three who were killed when a school wall collapsed in the city of Kalyan, 42 kilometres north of Mumbai.
In the nearby western city of Pune, six construction workers died in a wall collapse on Tuesday, a fire brigade official said, after a similar incident on Saturday killed 15.
Mumbai is looking to turn itself into a global financial hub but large parts of the city struggle to cope with annual monsoon rains, as widespread construction and garbage-clogged drains and waterways make it increasingly vulnerable to chaos.
[Australian Broadcasting Corporation]