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Heavy rains kill 11 in India, six trawlers missing

Jun 18, 2011, 8:36 GMT

New Delhi - At least 11 people died and six fishing boats carrying around 100 fishermen were missing as monsoon rains lashed India's eastern coastal state of West Bengal, officials said Saturday.

The heavy downpour which began on Friday inundated the main city of Kolkata and disrupted road and rail traffic across the state.

Kolkata received 154 millimetres of rainfall on Friday, the highest for the city on any single day in June in the last decade.

Boats had been pressed into service to rescue people in some waterlogged areas, officials said.

'At least 11 people have been killed in rain-related accidents including landslides and house-collapses in West Bengal over the past 24 hours,' Monoj Das, an officer at Kolkata's main police control room said.

Four members of a family died in a landslide in the mountainous Darjeeling district, Das said.

Meanwhile, local fisherman's welfare association president Bijon Maity said six trawlers had been missing in the Bay of Bengal since Friday.

'Since each trawler has 16 men, a total of 96 fishermen are missing,' he said.

Earlier on Friday, 33 fishing boats had been missing, but 22 of these vessels had returned while five had landed in Bangladesh, Maity said. The Indian coast guard and navy was searching for the missing trawlers, Maity added.

Every year, monsoon rains and accompanying storms cause numerous deaths across India.

According to the federal home ministry, 966 people died across 16 Indian states during the monsoon season last year. The monsoon season in northern India usually lasts from June to October.

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