3:13 pm - Saturday October 25, 2014

26/07 – Remembering the tragic 26th July 2005 Maharashtra flood disaster

Asia Bizz: The 26th of July aka 26/07 is one frightening day which is still fresh in the minds of several Mumbaikars (residents of the city of Mumbai in the Indian state of Maharashtra) as it was on this day back in 2005, when the deadly floods struck the cosmopolitan city. The floods had struck not only the city, but also many parts of the state of Maharashtra 6 years ago.

Several people had lost their homes and were stranded on the roads and the massive flood claimed at least 5,000 lives in the commercial capital of India. A rainfall of 994 mm for 24 hours lashed the city and had also continued the next day which made life unbearable for the people residing in Mumbai.

The other areas that were affected were Chiplun, Ratnagiri, Khed, Kalyan, Raigad and even the southern state of Goa. Several school children were also stranded due to the rain for more than 24 hours.

What had added to the emergency situation was that the radio stations and the TV stations did not receive any alerts from the civic agencies regarding the impending disaster. The rain water had caused sewage systems to overflow and all the waterlines too were contaminated. Due to the water clogging, thousands of animal carcasses were also seen floating on the water and had also posed a threat of an epidemic. However, the health centers had then immediately geared up to distribute free medicines.

But through all the chaos and loss, Mumbaikars stood united and helped the people who were trapped in cars submerged, and who were left without food and water for more than 24 hours. Makeshift rafts of locals made the rounds trying to save and assist as many people as they could, and volunteers made their way through the floods providing clean drinking water and biscuits to people stranded at stations, on top of bus stands, submerged houses and in houses.

But 6 years after the deadly flood, with mangroves continuing to be cleared without any fear of a future flood and drainage systems being poorly planned, has Mumbai really learned a lesson from the devastating 20005 Maharashtra floods of 26/07?

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