In India, the worst flooding in many years has inundated nearly half the densely-populated state of West Bengal.
GV PAN Flooded street with partly submerged cars.
SV PAN People standing outside flooded houses.
GV People wading through floodwater carrying umbrellas. (4 shots)
GV PAN Flooded street and buildings.
GV People wading through water.
SV Rickshaw being pulled through water.
SV Half-submerged car, PAN TO man pulling rickshaw.
SV PAN AND GV Partly submerged cars. (2 shots)
SV PAN Bus driving through floodwater. (2 shots).
While relieving local hardship is the authorities' immediate concern, it is also feared that serious national harm has been caused to India's main coalfields. The Bengal-Bihar coal belt produces a third of the country's coal and ninety per cent of its high-grade steam coal - and the latest flooding has closed seventy mines and threatened another twenty.
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Background: In India, the worst flooding in many years has inundated nearly half the densely-populated state of West Bengal. State authorities are describing it as an unprecedented natural disaster. At least eleven people are reported deal, but communications are so badly disrupted that the full toll has not been established. It is the second deluge this month and for the three north Indian states of West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the unofficial death toll is more than 2,000 people.
SYNOPSIS: Calcutta - India's largest city - is one of the worst affected areas. Essential services were still out on Friday, (29 September) after being cut for three days and the population of eight million faces a serious shortage of drinking water, food and accommodation.
An estimated one hundred and fifty thousand people were evacuated from the city's slum areas during the week, after torrential rain described as the heaviest in more than a century. Just under nine inches (224 millimetres) fell during on twenty-four hour period; followed by fourteen-and-a-half inches (355.6 millimetres) the next day (26 and 27 September).
Most of Calcutta's suburbs went under water in the resulting deluge including the city's sprawling green, known as the Maidan.
With no gondolas to make travel easy in this new Asian Venice, the residents are still commuting in familiar - though now ineffectual - vehicles. Nearly all long-distance and suburban trains from the city have been cancelled and air services have also been badly disrupted. As a result, business has been virtually paralysed. There are fears for the health of Calcutta's people, and the Government is urging civil servants to report to work to assist in aid programmes.
Some buses are still attempting to provide a service - but for most Calcutta residents the unprecedented rains have brought unprecedented rains have brought working life to a standstill.