New Delhi: A floodwaters in India’s biggest city, New Delhi, have left more than 1,000 people dead, including several children, and caused widespread destruction to homes, businesses and public transport.
The death toll from the flood has now risen to more than 12,000, and the damage is still being assessed.
India’s Emergency Management Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that the death toll had risen to 12,732, of whom about 1,600 are children.
“There is no doubt that the tragedy of the floods in the state of Uttarakhand and the neighbouring districts is very tragic and it is very difficult to comprehend the pain and grief this is causing,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.
“We have been asking the Indian people to give us a chance to save lives and the people are doing that.”
The government says more than 50,000 homes were affected and that the toll of dead and missing could climb as high as 60,000.
It is also calling for a halt to all public transport services and road closures in the affected districts.
The rains in the district, which lies about 70 kilometres (45 miles) north-east of the capital, have been the worst in the country in recent months.
The flood has also affected hundreds of thousands of people in Uttarakas southern states of Uttarkashi and Jharkhand.
In the state capital of Kolkata, hundreds of people have been trapped in mud-brick buildings and streets.
The government has appealed for donations of clean water to help those displaced.
“It is extremely painful to hear the stories of the people of Uttamashali, Jhalkhand, the Jhakharia, Dharavi, Bikaner, Kanpur and other areas,” Kejriwal said on Tuesday.
“Please don’t let the flood of this magnitude overwhelm you and let us be there for you.”
In Delhi, which has a population of about 14 million, the death rate has risen to about 5,500 per day, from 2,500 the day before.
The city’s roads are also littered with debris and the water has made it difficult to reach many parts of the city, including parts of its financial district, where the death count rose to more then 100,000 on Tuesday night.
Some roads leading to the capital are closed, and authorities have ordered the construction of water pipelines, a measure to ease the impact on the city’s already flooded roads.
Some schools in the city have been closed because of the flooding.
“I am very sorry to hear about the loss of lives in this devastating flood,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in New Delhi.
“The nation will not rest until the waters are cleared.”
Mr Modi also said that India was working to improve the safety of water and sewage treatment plants and that he was committed to a clean and safe environment.
“Clean water and wastewater facilities, which have been in place for many years, are of the utmost importance for the protection of human life and the environment,” he said.
The state of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is located, has also reported a significant rise in the death rates since the flooding began on Tuesday morning.
The chief minister of the state, Devendra Fadnavis, said in an emailed statement on Tuesday that more than 60,300 people were displaced in the flood-hit areas.
The National Disaster Management Authority, a state-owned agency, has said it is expecting a number of deaths.
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Modi visited affected areas in the national capital on Tuesday, while officials said they were assessing the impact of the flood.