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Indian Financial And Tech Hub Inundated By Record Rainfall

Major IT service and development companies shutter operations.
Rain of biblical proportions is wreaking havoc across central and western India, shutting down transportation systems and forcing some of the country's major outsourcing vendors to close operations in the affected areas. At least 200 people are reported dead from flooding.

Mumbai, India's financial capital, is among the hardest-hit cities. On Tuesday, the city received 37 inches of rain--the most in recorded history in a country that regularly receives torrential monsoons. The rains continued through Wednesday.

Some major IT services vendors, including Infosys Technologies Ltd. and Wipro Ltd., have closed operations in the area. A third major company, Tata Consultancy Services, may also be affected. A U.S.-based spokesman for the company was unable to confirm the status of TCS operations in Mumbai. "The phone lines are down and communication is sporadic," the spokesman says.

In a statement, Infosys said it has closed two development centers in Pune, which is about 150 kilometers from Mumbai. The company called the move "a precautionary measure" but couldn't say when the facilities would reopen. "We have activated the emergency support procedures so that no customer work is impacted," the statement said. Wipro has also reportedly closed its Pune development center. A number of Western technology firms, including IBM and Accenture, also have operations in the area. Their status wasn't immediately clear.

Meanwhile, the situation in Mumbai remains dire. According to The Associated Press, many of the city's roads have turned into waist-high rivers. The phone network has collapsed, and the city's airports aren't operating. Major airlines have canceled flights in and out of the city. At times, the rain descended in what appeared to be a solid wall of water.