The “Tide of the Century” may hit Mumbai on 24th July 2009.
Mumbai could be facing a re-enactment of the catastrophe that devastated life and property four years ago—perhaps on the very same dates. While the severity of the flooding would probably be unabated, better preparedness and closer co-ordination among government bodies, corporate & general public can help in minimizing its impact.
What caused floods in 2005?
Mumbai is at an average elevation of 10-15 meters above sea level and receives an annual rainfall of 2,200 mm out of which 50% is in the month of July.
On 26 July 2005, Mumbai got a record single day rainfall of 944mm (42% of the city’s annual rainfall). This coupled with a high tide of more than 4.8m, overwhelmed the drain-age systems and flooded the city.
Mumbai lost close to $200 million of revenue and over 1,000 lives. The floods also caused serious damage to property, infrastructure and left serious diseases in its wake. Many were even traumatized.
Mumbai faces a similar situation now!
The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has indicated the possibility of a high tide of 5.01m & 5.05m on 23rd and 24th July 2009 respectively.
The South West Monsoon which is expected to hit Mumbai by 10th June could prove disastrous if it rains heavily on any of these two days. Low lying areas could experience flooding even with moderate rains.
While MCGM has apparently undertaken measures to improve the city’s disaster management capabilities, it is imperative for individuals & corporate’s to review their pre-paredness for responding effectively.
Checklist- Preparing for the 'danger days'
• Restrict all non-essential travel on critical days. Advise inbound travelers as well
• Familiarize yourself & family/colleagues with warning signs, alert systems & designated high land areas
• Be aware of the potential flooding zones and the evacuation routes
• Keep all the emergency contact numbers handy
• Stock food, drinking water and other essential emergency supplies
• Dispose all garbage and inform public authorities of any clogged drainage
• Teach children, how & when to call first responders and train them on flood response drills**
• Turn off the electric supply
• Using the available source of communication, intimate your family members
• Use battery operated radio to get latest emergency information
• If instructed by authorities to evacuate, do so immediately
• If stranded in a vehicle, exit the vehicle and move to a higher land
• Avoid walking / travelling through any flooded routes
• Avoid unnecessary calling on Emergency Contact Numbers
• Rely on authentic information & don’t spread rumours
• Don't return/enter your home until authorities declare it safe`
• Help neighbours who may need assistance
• Watch out for poisonous insects & reptiles
• Beware of loose electrical wires
• Beware of water borne diseases
• Go for Medical checkups if exposed to flood waters
• Discard any food item which has been in contact with the flood water
• Contact your insurance company for claims
• Consult a crisis counsellor in case of post traumatic stress syndrome
Emergency Contact Details
Disaster Help Line 108
Mumbai Police 100
Fire Brigade 101
Central Complaint Registration System 1916
Medical Emergency 101
* For respective Ward Representative & Emergency Contact Details visit www.mcgm.gov.in