India floods: Toddlers killed in Mumbai rains

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Media captionTens of thousands were stranded as the city ground to a halt

Monsoon rains have killed at least five people, including two toddlers, in Mumbai as India's financial capital ground to a halt under flooding.

Roads flooded waist-deep, flights were cancelled and train services suspended, stranding tens of thousands.

More rain is expected but the situation has improved for now, the BBC's Suranjana Tewari says.

The rains in Mumbai follow devastating floods across a swathe of South Asia, which have killed more than 1,200.

At least 500 of the deaths happened in the northern Indian state of Bihar, according to officials.

Some 16 million people have been affected across South Asia, say aid workers. They estimate that tens of thousands of people have been displaced.

Mumbai has seen a slow return to normality, although schools and offices remain closed on Wednesday.

'Offices turned into makeshift dormitories'

Suranjana Tewari, BBC news, Mumbai

Mumbai is no stranger to flooding during the monsoons. Many people were comparing Tuesday's downpour to the devastating floods of 2005 which submerged much of the city and took more than 500 lives.

By Wednesday morning, it was clear that this flooding was not nearly as bad. On the streets, it feels rather like a bank holiday.

With offices and schools shut, there are fewer people on the roads and most who are out are heading home after spending the night at their workplaces.

Offices across the city turned into makeshift dormitories with companies organising food for stranded employees.

Now the focus turns to what could have been done to prevent the paralysis of a major financial hub. Many people on Twitter are blaming plastic litter for clogging up drains and waterways.

Residents took to social media to offer shelter to the stranded, or to ask for help.

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Media captionMore heavy rain for parts of India and Pakistan

People opened up their homes to strangers, using the hashtag #RainHosts, along with their contact details.

The AFP news agency quoted a local official as saying that they were monitoring the situation.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has called the South Asian floods one of the worst regional humanitarian crises in years.

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