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Sunday, July 03, 2005

 

Floods


As I write this blog entry the Child's rhyme "Rain rain go away" lingers in my mind. The South west Monsoon has started in India vigorously. The rains that started almost a week ago is in full swing. The River Tapi at Surat is flowing with high water level. The flood alert has also been issued by Civil adminstation by June 28.

Disruption in rail traffic has been reported all along the Mumbai - Ahemadabad Route and passengers got fustrated at staions along the route. Passengers were found stranded at Surat and Vadodara railway stations. The Main Cause was water indundation along the rail track between Surat and Vadodara as river Narmada was found flowing at higher level at many places.

The water level in dams, lying dry for the past several months, increased vigorously in three days as heavy rains were reported from Junagadh, Amreli, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar districts after the onset of the monsoon. Just few days back it was Hot, Humid, and Hazy. The sun was beating down relentlessly. The atmosphere was a smoky haze. No one had ever imagined that the intolerable heat shall be followed by the incessant rains that resulted in floods and some even termed it as aerial tsunami to indicate the scale of devastation caused by this recent fury of nature. A friend of mine said “It just stormed like is hasn't stormed in years here. We are having a wet and stormy summer.

Violent storms cause a chaotic end to the sunny spell, with heavy rain and thunderstorms moving across India (China & UK too). Thousands of villages and millions of people were affected by this disaster. Few of the places are already under 10 feet of water and there is not much the people or government can do to bring respite in this aggravating situation as most of these places are now inaccessible. All the rivers are flooded and the sea is again ready to take its toll. People are marooned with no connection to media – television, radio or newspaper. With no access to water, electricity and telephone lines this situation can be described as – ‘water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink’ (factoid: It's from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge - when the Ancient Mariner is stuck in the middle of the sea.)
    Map of Gujarat

Army and paramilitary personnel have been deployed to reach those trapped, state officials said, but bad weather prevented rescue helicopters from lifting those stranded in many places. In the recent past we have seen Earthquakes, Drought, Political rampage and killings and now Floods. It is intimidating to note the increased frequency of these tragedies resulting in highly traumatic circumstances. To add fuel to the fire, the poor and helpless people lose everything by the time they are rescued and may not even have the motivation to continue their life. It was utmost intriguing to note that the major news papers took almost a week to publish this while people realized the severity of the situation after the three days of continuous and heavy downpour. On June 28, flood alert was declared and the official death toll as of now has been announced as about 124. In four days, Gujarat received the water that usually rains over a period of four months and that undoubtedly results in an intense runoff and flash flood situation. Almost all the dams in the region have crossed the danger mark.

Though from what I read at TOI just moments before I published this blog entry, about return of some normalcy after the rains stopped, I am writing this to ensure that this shall be revelation and not yet another episode that the government and people will easily forget. We need to learn to respect the nature, and understand and improve our schemes to manage and utilize the natural resources.

Comments:
Hi Hemal,

Came first time to ur blog, nice post, thanks for visiting my blog.
Yes indeed google is THE place for such search, but if we know some sites which caters such news so thought of going there first, but there was not a single line related to that, it being a major issue. So couldn't stop myself mentioning it in my post.
 
Hemal..I was able to talk to my family. The situation in Vadodara happened due to the bursting out of a Dam. Damn !! Coupla my friends houses are in water. But its getting better...and the sun brighter.

Gujarat ko nazar lag gayee hai. Something continues every year. I have seen the earthquake and the riots. Gosh..twas pathetic.

Hope Gujarat recovers now.
 
Hemal..I was able to talk to my family. The situation in Vadodara happened due to the bursting out of a Dam. Damn !! Coupla my friends houses are in water. But its getting better...and the sun brighter.

Gujarat ko nazar lag gayee hai. Something continues every year. I have seen the earthquake and the riots. Gosh..twas pathetic.

Hope Gujarat recovers now.
 
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