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Monsoon death toll rises to 800

MUMBAI, July 29 (UPI) -- India's deadly monsoon that dumped more than three feet of rain in some sections of Bombay has claimed about 800 lives but the toll was expected to rise.

As the city and other towns in the western Maharashtra state slowly began returning to normal, rescuers Friday searched for survivors in massive mudslides.

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Compounding the tragedy was a stampede Thursday, set off by a rumor about an impending tsunami. The stampede killed 22 people, including several children in a suburb of the financial and commercial capital. Police arrested 17 people for rumormongering.

Health authorities in the city, also called Mumbai, raced against time to prevent the outbreak of epidemics from thousands of animal carcasses strewn around the city, the BBC and Indian news reports said.

Some 40 villages surrounding Bombay remained cut off from the rest of the country. Food packages and water bottles were being airdropped in the region.

Bombay's airports began operating normally and trading had resumed on the Bombay stock exchanges. Long-distance train services also resumed as did some local commuter train operations.

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