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Monday, August 01, 2005

Sinking buildings, overflowing lakes

Some excerpts from this Times of India update:
One indicator of the seriousness of the situation was Unicef's announcement that it was rushing in medical aid of one million chlorine tablets to purify water, three lakh ORS (oral rehydration salt) packets and 5000 IV fluids. Air force helicopters have already dropped over 10,000 kg of food packets in Kalyan, Ulhasnagar, Ambarnath, Mumbra and Badlapur.

Several buildings in Dombivli have started sinking and the authorities have begun evacuating residents.

The three lakes in Mumbai— Powai, Vihar and Tulsi— are already overflowing.

About 7,000 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas in Andheri, Santa Cruz, Malad, Goregaon, Dahisar and Ghatkopar. Worried civic officials said that if heavy rain on Tuesday persisted, there could be cause for concern.
Well, there has been "cause for concern" for quite a while now in Kalina, where television pictures have shown entire cars submerged, with first-floor flats flooded and entrances to buildings blocked by water. The residents of that suburb are demanding a probe into the administrative failures that contributed to their condition, but when the judge is the culprit, what good is a probe?

Meanwhile, the armed forces are involved in rescue operations in many different parts of the state.

Update -- A state of numbness: In its report today, the Indian Express quotes a resident of Mumbai as saying:
The slums nearby are washed away. Dead buffaloes are floating on water. We didn't have power for 72 hours. Everybody is in a state of numbness.
The report also says that "[h]eavy rains and strong winds were expected in and around Mumbai over the next 24 hours."