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Tuesday, September 06, 2005



A few weeks before hurricane Katrina's devastation, India's financial capital Mumbai (aka.Bombay) was drowned completely by a 48-hour downpour, the heaviest recorded in the last 100 years. The Indian electronic media showed images of people helping shopkeepers save their merchandize, it showed people throwing open their doors to strangers who couldn't reach their homes, it showed slum dwellers, who themselves had lost everything, serving hot tea to those struggling back home wading through waist-deep waters. The Mumbai floods made heroes out of ordinary people. Watching images of the New Orleans disaster, nothing could have been so much in contrast. Parts of Moss Point, Biloxi, Pascagoula, Bay St. Louis and other towns in Mississippi were demolished, and you might have sure read about Orleans.

I do appreciate the relief efforts by federal and faith based agencies, but I just cannot understand how the media can brag about the relief efforts and term it the 'best disaster management response' while the recent natural disaster in India was more effectively managed and made heros out of ordinary people.

Some facts:
inches of rain in new orleans due to hurricane katrina... 18
inches of rain in mumbai (July 27th).... 37.1

population of new orleans... 484,674
population of mumbai.... 12,622,500

deaths in new orleans within 48 hours of katrina... 100
deaths in mumbai within 48hours of rain.. 37.

number of people to be evacuated in new orleans... entire city... woohh
number of people evacuated in mumbai... 10,000

Cases of shooting and violence in new orleans...Countless
Cases of shooting and violence in mumbai... NONE

Time taken for US army to reach new orleans... 48hours
Time taken for Indian army and navy to reach mumbai... 12hours

status 48hours later... new orleans is still waiting for relief, army and electricty
status 48hours later... mumbai is back on its feet and is business is as usual.

USA...world's most developed nation
India...third world country...

But, I think the reactions of victims of Mumbai and New Orleans cannot really be compared. New Orleans residents are experiencing a disaster of this magnitude for the first time and so they don't know exactly how to react. They don’t have water drink, food to eat and are feeling totally lost, neglected and hopeless and so the natural tendency of survival of the fittest is kicking off violent behavior. In contrast, Mumbai residents have their share of previous experiences during numerous bloody religious riots and it seems Mumbai residents have learned from those experiences.

For better analysis refer to Amardeep Singh, Vatul and Physorg.

Nice comparison to look at. Nicer to see Mumbai back to feet within 48 hours of the devastation.
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