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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 August 2005, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Mumbai monsoon: Your accounts
Commuters wade across a waterlogged street in Mumbai following flash floods caused
Have you been affected by the monsoon rains in Mumbai?

The number of people who have died in record monsoon rains in the Indian city of Mumbai and the surrounding region of Maharashtra could soon rise to 1,000, officials have warned.

On Friday, police arrested 17 people for allegedly spreading rumours that Mumbai was going to be hit by a tsunami.

The city is now slowly returning to normal, although many villages are still cut off.

Have you been affected by the monsoon rains in Mumbai and Maharashtra?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion received so far:

I was amazed at the spirit of people of Mumbai
Preetika, Mumbai, India
Even though it was horrible walking through the muddy water in the middle of the night to get home, I was amazed at the spirit of people of Mumbai, who were extremely calm and still tried their best to be positive and helpful.
Preetika Chatterjee, Mumbai, India

Life's usual trivialities will never seem quite the same. Left the office at 4pm on Tuesday and finally made it home at 1pm the following afternoon, on what is normally a half hour journey. Spent the night on the Western Express Highway near Mahim Creek with water 4 feet around us. The images we saw will stick with me for some time. Not pretty. But through it all, the spirit of India once again came through. And today back to work. Life goes on.
Nicholas Robb, Ex-pat Brit working in Mumbai

I walked all the way home, waded through waist high waters and hung out from jam-packed buses. It was terribly frightening to have to leave old people stranded on the road as there was no more space in the bus.
Rahul, Mumbai, India

I come from Mumbai. It's disappointing to see the city in a mess. There have been huge investments by institutions like the World Bank, ADB. Where has it all gone? Where is disaster preparedness? Are we sitting on a time bomb? This confusion just with floods, what if there is a tsunami or earthquake? I definitely think its time to sit up and think, before it's too late.
Savio Carvalho, Dushanbe

This is the best city in the world! The people who are blaming the government for not acting fail to realize that this was a hundred year event. There is nothing anyone could do. My own house had six feet of water in it and we have sustained considerable damage. But what I saw on the streets was remarkable. People handing out food and water to strangers, opening their homes to them and almost no instances of looting and violence. I have lived all over the world and seen lesser events throw cities into panic and helplessness. Residents of a certain locality in Mumbai saved 250 people stranded on a bus using nothing more than an inflatable children's raft and tied their own clothes to make a life line to pull people in one by one to safety. Saying that Mumbai has no drainage is the same as saying Florida is not equipped to handle hurricanes.
Bharat, Mumbai

A single day rain washed out India financial capital. What about meteorology department? Was it sleeping to predict?
Gaurav Khatri, Mumbai, India

At one point he almost got swept away with the current
Menaka, California
My 67 year old father got stuck in Saki Naka. He walked close to 30 miles, taking detours etc, to get home and it took him about 23 hours. He said it was hard to walk through knee high to waist deep water. At one point he almost got swept away with the current and was held tight by supportive people. He also saw many floating dead bodies on his way. He seems really tired. His exact words were " I feel as though I got severe lashings for 10 hours straight" People in Bombay may going through shock but still seem calm.
Menaka, California

My sister spent 6 hours in her car, stuck in traffic that moved one inch in 15 minutes. She had to finally abandoned her vehicle at a distant relative's place and walk for 4 hours to reach home to tell everyone that she was fine. All mode of communication and transportation came to a standstill. Only way home was to walk. (Bus number 11 as she calls it). Localites were helping out by serving water, biscuits, bananas and tea. It seems everyone helped each other and no one panicked.
Soni, Harrisburg, PA

My family tells me it was really bad with no electricity for 2 days. My cousin was stranded in a bus for more than 12 hours. But amidst all this, hearing stories of people helping other despite their trouble, makes me proud as a Mumbaikar.
Jeetendra, Hartford, USA

My father and sister have been stuck in a train for four days now, since Monday night. People are helping them out even though all around them the villages are flooded out. However, the disaster is also bringing out the entrepreneurial side in people - 10 hours. to recharge your phone.
Abid Vali, Chennai, India

People were singing songs and playing games
Sanjay, USA
My wife had to walk for 5 and half hours to get home. People were singing songs and playing games, like recognizing the make of cars by looking at just the top 6 inches of the vehicle.
Sanjay, USA

I stayed back at my office and returned home the next morning. The streets resembled an aftermath of some kind of disaster right out of a Hollywood movie. Cars turned upside down, trees uprooted, no communication channels. However the city is slowly getting back to normal.
Dipesh, Mumbai, India

There was no warning issued about the impending storm and suddenly from the afternoon the water started pouring. This is sheer negligence on the part of the government not to issue a warning of such a calamity. Had they issued the warning, it would have saved hundreds of people.
Shishir, Mumbai, India

It was definitely the heaviest rainfall in 100 years
Sunila Talawdekar, Colorado, USA
I am originally from Mumbai and my family lives there. My brother-in-law said that he saw a car which was on top of a shoe store. It was definitely the heaviest rainfall in 100 years.
Sunila Talawdekar, Colorado, USA

The last two days have been the most tiring in my life. Luckily I was home with my dad and mom as I work nights and couldn't go to work. However, my two elder sisters got stuck in one of most dramatic days since the 1992/3 riots. One of my sister had to spend the night in the bogey of a local train between Elphistone road and Dadar, and the other sister spent the night on the terrace of her office premises. Well, the spirit of Mumbai is not only among the city's elite but also with the people living in the shanties along the railway tracks who provided biscuits and milk throughout the night for the people who were stuck in the train compartment and had nowhere to go. For me, this is the real spirit of 'Bombay' and nothing else.
Mahesh Poojary, Bombay, India

I called my Mumbai family last night, and luckily they are okay. I know from my own experience in India, that when something like this happens, the usual chaos quickly becomes unusual chaos. The charity I worked with, Mother Teresa's sisters, are busy helping people who have lost their homes and loved ones. However, I am sure that such a great city as Mumbai is still smiling and still fighting!
Verity Worthington, Bewdley, Worcestershire

My parents were covered in water up to there chests yesterday
Amrat, UK
My parents are currently stuck in Mumbai as there are no connecting flights. My dad mentioned that they were covered in water up to there chests yesterday and it was a very frightening experience for them. I am glad to say that they are safe.
Amrat, UK

My sister and niece were stranded in a bus for at least 15 hours. The people in the bus were helpful and kind. Food and water was shared. I thank God for getting them home safely.
Gerald, New York

I was trying to reach my parents in Navi Mumbai, but the phones were down. Surprisingly I could get my sister on her mobile phone; she's been in her office the last 2 days. I could not believe it until I saw the images on the BBC.
Anup, Minneapolis, USA

Regarding Prabhjot Kaur's remark that the city's drainage system is a disaster. While Mumbai's infrastructure is not really that great, I doubt very much if any city in the world can cope with 94cm of rain in 24 hours.
Bhaskar Bhattacharya, Muscat, Oman

If any city can cope with that kind of calamity, it's Mumbai
Lavanya, Madras, India
It's unbelievable that this kind of rainfall should be happening at all. But if any city can cope with that kind of calamity, it's Mumbai. The residents are the most resilient, courageous and kind hearted that I have ever known.
Lavanya, Madras, India

One has to see all this in the context of climate changes. This requires serious environmental studies and suggestions for remedies, not just disaster management committees.
Buroshiva Dasgupta, Manipal, India

I had to sleep in my office and the next morning walk for 3 hours. One of my colleagues lost most of his belongings as the flood water filled his ground floor apartment. His 12 year son was alone in the apartment. When the water started entering his house, his son had to move to their neighbour's place on the first floor. The brave man co-ordinating the evacuation efforts at our office was always smiling even in that situation.
Rajesh G Kulkarni, Mumbai, India

I was stranded at the airport for two days and nights. Full marks to the airline representatives who, after 48 hours of non-stop duty, were still there to assist. No such luck with airport authorities reluctant to admit the airport is to be shut for at least two days. I was impressed with everyone's reaction. Everything was calm, just people helping other people.
Sotiris Soulakiotis, Zug, Switzerland

Highest ever rainfall in India in just two hours could not dent the spirit of Mumbai
Tushar, Mumbai, India
Highest ever rainfall in India in just two hours and crippled administration could not dent the spirit of Mumbai. Power was switched off to avoid electrification of water, trains were stopped due to water on tracks, road transport came to a standstill, and water reached ridiculous heights of 10-12 feet in some places. People stayed back on platforms, in colleges, in offices, some walked back to home through neck deep water for hours.
Tushar, Mumbai, India

My brother told me that if they look out from the window of 8th floor apartment, it seem as if they are on island, not in city.
Sanjeev, London

Spoke to my mother last night. The building she lives in has got power and water running. I believe that building is one of the lucky ones in Mumbai.
Veena, Toronto

My flight was cancelled and I was advised not to leave the hotel. Air con is back on now after a couple of hot days. Gas is being cut off, one bar and one restaurant left serviceable. Has not rained today and clouds appear to be lifting. Land near my hotel is clearing slowly. Local roads appear to be moving.
Stefan, Haddenham

My sister and brother-in-law spent the night in their respective offices with hundreds of other people. People cleared the tables and slept on them, some slept on the floor and others didn't sleep at all. Next morning my brother-in-law took a cab to pick up my sister and then they both got stranded 5 km from their home as the cab got stuck in waist-high water. They had to tread the water to get back home only to find their home flooded. Apparently this is the story of hundreds and thousands of other people as well.
Pooja, London

The people have been so strong and co-operative
Akshay, Mumbai
I just wanted to share some good times we had on the first day of rains. Many people on the streets were singing songs. I did not see a single fight on the streets, no religious clashes, etc. I hate to be cheerful when a lot of people are in deep trouble but the people have been so strong and co-operative. I love this city!!
Akshay, Mumbai

Yes, the situation is quite bad, but it's improving. I waited at the office on Tuesday night and then waded through chest deep water on Wednesday to get home, only to realise there's no electricity. All the shops are shut due to flooding. I survived last night somehow. Thanks to local residents out on the road, in waist high water, who were handing out food and water to countless people walking home. I'm back at the office today just to be able to stay in touch with my parents at Pune and also to make sure I get to eat. Basic food supplies are in short supply in most places, with water being the most crucial. It's stopped raining now, the sun is out finally. Hopefully the electricity will be restored by evening.
Sonali Mahajan, Mumbai, India

My 6-years-old daughter, Leena, is in Mumbai visiting grandparents during her summer holidays. She says -"God was flushing Mumbai like flushing toilets, cars are floating and it feels as if the skies are incontinent". Northern Ireland is known for persistent rain, but according to her she witnessed more rain in the span of eight hours in Mumbai than she has seen in her entire lifetime in Belfast.
Dr Kishor Choudhari, Belfast, UK

I have heard many personal accounts of friends who were stuck on the roads
Deepa Rao, Cambridge, UK
I am from Bombay and have family and friends there. My parents live in the suburbs but luckily our area is hilly and hence they have not had any problems with flooding. But I have heard many personal accounts of friends who were stuck on the roads. What is evident from this disaster as from the previous disasters, is the resilience and determination of ordinary Bombayites to continue with every day life. People talk about how Bombay is a cold-hearted metropolis but when it comes to the crunch, Bombayites/Mumbaikars come second to none in opening their houses, hearts etc - to help complete strangers.
Deepa Rao, Cambridge, UK

I called up my brother, he told me he started walking from his office around 6 in evening and reached home morning 3:00am. His wife is sleeping in her office from last two days. He said he had never seen rainfall like this in his entire life of 30 years.
Akash, London

I called my parents on Tuesday afternoon but could not get through on their mobile. Had to listen to the "All channels are busy" voice all through the day but didnt think that anything major was happening at that time. Read about the "carnage" last morning and was glued to the net for the rest of the day for updates and stories. My parents were travelling in a bus which actually started floating on water! They were helped by locals who had to tie down the buses to lampposts and direct the travellers through the deep waters (more than head-high) with the help of clothing lines and make shift ropes a la rapelling! They had to spend the night with scores others on top of export cloth bundles in a clothing godown! They reached home after being over 30 hours on the road! It seems that all the Mumbaikars (citizens of the city) were helping out each other. A few local residents set up water kiosks by the roadside, the way you see these during a marathon! Hats off to the Mumbai spirit!
Toby, Woking, Surrey/UK

Cars were floating on the road
Ton van Heijningen, Pune, India
Received 2 sms from friend in Mumbai. 1) Dadar area "It was horrible. There was water til the chest level in most of the places. We had to walk for 8 hours to reach home, there was a blackout. Also now there is no electricity in some places. Cars were floating on the road. Thousands of people slept in the buses and stations. The shops at the road side were affected. Our market was safe". 2) from Bandra "Completely rained out for days, floods, network blackout, no TV, internet, waded through knee deep water. Closed gym early yesterday. Closed today as well. No power at home, enjoying unscheduled holiday, cooking away, going to be raining for next 48 hours... still smiling, thanks for the support"
Ton van Heijningen, Pune, India

My wife is in Mumbai with our two kids; my younger son is visiting India for the first time as he was born in December 2004. Only way to get in touch is SMS. My father-in-law and brother-in-law had to spend the night on the road because they were out on business and got struck. I am really concerned about the outbreak of any disease.
Rohit Bajaj, Swansea, UK

Never expected this to happen in a very 'functioning' city like Mumbai. We pride ourselves on just getting-on with it most of the times and in the process being a bit heartless like most big-city dwellers all over the world. But life came to a very (wet) standstill yesterday. I was stranded in my car for 4 hours on my way back from work, had to leave it, after pushing it to a side with 3 other 13-15 year old kids and was then fed and provided a bed by a nearby resident for 6 hours. He even called later to check if I had reached safely!?
Samir, Chembur, Mumbai, India

He has a daunting task in front of him
Amit Chilgunde, Singapore/Maharashtra
All this and then there is now the fear of disease spreading. More people will die of disease due to impure water, contaminated food etc, especially in the worst hit villages of Maharashtra. I just talked to my dad who is the District Health Officer of Parbhani district in Maharashtra, and he has a daunting task in front of him of preventing the spread of disease and making sure people have access to safe drinking water and medicines. With many villages in Parbhani district completely under water, I am sure he won't be getting any sleep for the new few days.
Amit Chilgunde, Singapore/Maharashtra

I am from Bombay originally. My parents are in London for a short time and we have received news that our house is flooded with 4 feet of water. All furniture etc will be ruined and we can't do anything sitting here. We don't even know the extent of the damage.
HS, Surrey, UK

Tuesday and Wednesday were really very dangerous day for almost all Mumbaias. I had spent almost 40 hours in my office without good food. All the transportation, communication and electricity had been down for 40 hours. Mumbai has faced the heaviest rains in the past hundred years.
Rushikesh, Mumbai

Let's just stop blaming the heavy rains. Fifty years after independence and we don't have a proper drainage system for the financial capital of India. Governments come and go and so do politicians, but no decent work happening. Office goers, schoolchildren are stuck to their places of work and schools with worried loved being in houses wondering about their whereabouts. The situation has worsened with the current government in Maharashtra not handling this properly.
Shriprasad Kale, Pune

There was water all over the place
Rakesh Pandey, Mumbai, India
This was the worst experience I've had in all these years. There was water all over the place. I was in my office for the last 2 nights, luckily there was enough food provided. I just think if we are dependent on the government we will never get anything. There was no update on what was happening outside, what were their plans, all the communication networks were down.
Rakesh Pandey, Mumbai, India

The heaviest rains in a hundred years they say. It sure looked that way on Tuesday. That, and high tide meant the city was doomed. There is nothing anyone can do as most of the drain outlets are below sea level! However, where the government failed was in providing help to the thousands of motorists stranded on the road with no food or water for hours and even days now. I was personally lucky as an hour's walk got me home, but friends, relatives and co-workers were not so lucky.
Robin Shroff, Mumbai, India

Amidst the trauma of having to wade through waist high water to get home and being stranded without any assistance from the government agencies (which to be fair, were stretched), the support of other people was a huge help. All over the city there were reported incidences where complete strangers offered food, shelter to those who were stranded. These acts of kindness helped many to get to their destinations with some relief. I cannot think of any other city in the world that will have the same resilience in the face of such adversity.
Hemang, Mumbai, India

I'm a 19 year old gap year student currently volunteering for the Indian Charity "Oasis India" in Mira Road. I came to Mumbai in April and am working here till 31st August being a house parent in a residential hostel for 10 boys aged 16-19 who formerly lived on the streets and now attend the Oasis Training centre where they learn skills in electronics! Our house was caved in with waist high water floods causing us to have to swim to a local shop to get dinner for the boys!
Alexander Hobley, Mira Road, Mumbai!

My sister and her family live in Mumbai. She was about to travel inter-state to meet my parents. Now all trains and flights leaving the city have been cancelled until further notice. Moreover, once the trains resume, I don't think she'll be able to get a ticket easily. Secondly, there'll be huge rush of people leaving the city, that it will be risky for women to travel alone with a young child. I haven't been able to contact her myself for past 2 days. But my parents (who live in North India) have spoken to her. Her flat and locality is not so affected by floods, but cancellation of trains has certainly caused problems.
Rachit Srivastava, Australia

The unprecedented rains completely paralysed the city infrastructure. I have never heard of the railways, bus service and all public transport services getting disrupted totally. All this havoc caused by 24 hours of incessant rain. We were surrounded by 4-5 feet of water for about 10 hours. We had no power supply, drinking water or telecom services. Lack of information also spelled disaster with people not being able to get in touch with their loved ones.
Ashwini Bhandary, Mumbai, India

We were in chest deep water. Wading our way to relative safety. We were not alone, thousand of people moved slowly but steadily. In spite of a collapse of the law and order situation, there was no fights, no arguments, no harassment or molestation of women. People helped each other, smiled when needed even cracked a few jokes to lighten the situation. Hats Off to residents of Mumbai, you have guts, courage and a heart of gold. Thank you Mumbai
Vikram, Mumbai, India

Whether we blame it on construction of Mumbai or we blame it on effects of Global warming; it was the lives of ordinary people who bore the brunt of it. My house is under water. And there is a considerable loss to property. Fortunately for us there has been no loss of life. But this is not the same for unlucky ones.
Amit, Vashi Bombay - India

I was coming back to Bombay from Panvel 45 kms from the city as soon as we reached Chembur area of the city the traffic was jammed, we were stranded in the traffic at the same place for a day and a half, we've seen no help coming from the civil services, it seemed we live in a country which does not have a Government. Many people have also died because they could not make out the difference between the roads and the adjoining trenches along which the water was flowing, however the civilians came to much of the rescue helping people with food and water.
Shehzad Naqvi, Bombay

We working at our office in downtown Mumbai. I did not realise the very heavy rainfall that was occurring in the suburbs (15 kms away)- 69cms (28inches) between 2-30 to 8-30pm on 26th and 94 cms (38 inches in the 24 hrs ending 8am 27th. While in the same period the Rains in downtown was ONLY around 8% of this. I was stuck in the office in downtown (south Bombay). Our 2 children were also stuck overnight in their respective offices near the airport region (within 3 kms of it and 20 kms from my office). While 7 college students while commuting from downtown to the Airport region (Mid North Bombay) were stuck near my residence at Bandra and took shelter at my residence for the night and next morning. All the traffic on the roads was gridlocked.
Joseph Pereira, Mumbai-India

Packed highways. Vehicles facing all directions. All engines shut. Four floods in four miles of a highway, at least knee-deep. All trains cancelled. All phone lines down. Falling trees. No electricity or water for over 24 hours. An unconscious victim lying flat on the highway, struggling to breathe. Invisible obstacles on the roads. Virtually no access to supplies or information. This is what I had to bear with in the last two days, but what we all heard about on television and radio was far, far worse. Services rendered by the radio operators in the city deserve a lot of praise, as they worked tirelessly to provide a lifeline to a city paralysed by nature's fury, when all other services came to a standstill.
Arjun Mohan, Mumbai, Maharastra, India

I would like to add a few words of gratitude to the much-maligned public service corps. I have witnessed the dedication with which the police and military forces are working towards returning Mumbai to normalcy and despite the umpteen obstacles in their paths, they have come a cropper in a few occasions and as heroes in others. Kudos to the police and military, the government, though needs to be electrocuted into activity - You would they have gone on hibernation given the inactivity on their part.
Joe, Mumbai, India

It's an absolute nightmare
Vikas, Mumbai, India
It's an absolute nightmare. Couldn't get back home as the trains were not working. Some of the colleagues had to spend the night at workplace but me and a few others were welcome at one of my friends place nearby. Had to stay there for two days before the trains started working.
Vikas, Mumbai, India

Myself and my colleague George were stranded in our office in Mumbai overnight on Tuesday. We attempted to walk back to our hotel at around 5pm on Tuesday but the water was waist high and rising all the time so we decided to return to the office where we spent the night. I managed to contact my girlfriend, Shairen (who hadn't come to work that day as she wasn't well), at the hotel and she told me that our room on the top floor had become flooded as the roof of the hotel had a crack in it due to the excessive amount of water sitting on the roof. We left the office at around 8:30 the next morning and walked for 3 hours in the rain, our clothes soaked through, to reach the hotel. The rain seems to have stopped for the time being and we are hoping to leave Mumbai on Saturday, assuming the airport is open again by then!
Paul Henderson, Mumbai/Scotland

I came to Mumbai on Sunday 27th from London for a research project at IITB. I was pleased that my scheduled programmes finished a day early. But I was to be greeted by one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. I was staying in Powai and went to Matunga for some shopping around 2.30pm, had some food and by 4.30pm my shopping was done. The plan was to do some sightseeing as I was leaving Mumbai the day after. Although it was raining since early morning that day I was not prepared for what was about to come. The heavens opened up as if someone was throwing buckets of water. My taxi driver warned me at this stage that it may take two hours to get back. The driver, Debendra Ji found some high ground and parked up. I could see thousands and thousands of people were walking, men, women, children. The traffic was chaotic as nothing seemed to be moving.

Hundreds had abandoned their vehicles, some waterlogged, some parked on higher grounds. After five hours we reached Powai at 12pm. My legs were rebelling against me as I am not used to walking for so long but I was resolute like many others and kept going till I reached IITB campus. This morning, I found out the airport is closed to flights. As I am writing my flight time has passed. Looks like I am not going anywhere for the next few hours at least. I heard that roads to and from the airport are inundated too. 28th July I am still stranded here in Mumbai. I will know later this afternoon if I will be able to catch a flight back to UK.
Muyeeduz Zaman, London , UK

I had to walk through waist high water
Prabhjot Kaur, Mumbai, India
I had the worst experience of my life. My office is at Maszid bunder and I stay at Peddar road. I had to walk through waist high water as there were no buses and no taxis working. Everyone was walking. The only thing which helped in this rain was one's legs. I didn't see anyone rescuing or saving, police or any government official. This monsoon only proved that there is absolutely no drainage system in the city. What about a disaster management plan? If Mumbai has no disaster management system, I wonder what will be picture of other cities.
Prabhjot Kaur, Mumbai, India

Pune and the twin township of Pimpri-Chinchwad are among the worst hit by the torrential rain. It has been continuously raining here for three days and the two rivers flowing through the city have inundated areas along their banks. Earlier the city administration warned that they will be forced to open the Pavana and Kadakwasla dams which feed these rivers. Rail traffic from South India to Bombay is terminated at Pune adding to crowded railway stations and airports.
Sam George, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Most of the major banks like UTI, SBI are not able to provide services due to the flooding in the financial capital. None of the ATMs of the UTI bank are working and even normal branch operations are also affected severely. It seems most of the banks' data centres are located at Mumbai and are not properly backed up by data centres at alternate locations.
Amit Kumar Khan, Calcutta, India

Indian monsoon death toll soars
28 Jul 05 |  South Asia


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