Actually, this whole story is about two weeks old. But considering the resulting infrastructure problems have kept the news coming slowly and that, of course, American news is not going to pay any attention to it unless there are some Americans involved to be featured in a sensationalized story, I’m not surprised that only yesterday am I finding out that it’s been more than just “a little rainy” in India as of late.
Some talented bloggers much more dedicated than me have been compiling links, photos and stories of the people trying to survive more than three feet of rain that fell within 24 hours. For a comparison, that’s about the same amount of rain Seattle receives in a year. The Times of India, despite their apparently warped front page team, have some skilled photographers out wading thru the waist-deep water in the streets, as does Rediff. In addition to widespread electricity and wireless network outages, fires have broken out – including on an oil rig off the Mumbai coast ravaged by the storm.
Here are some personal recollections that are much more engaging to read than the news articles:
Ravikiran Rao gives his account, which made me laugh when he described how he and his colleague were still taking shelter under their umbrellas even though they were waist-deep in water.
Rediff compiled stories of several Mumbaikars.
A recounting by Amit Varma here mentions that something like this happens every year, but not nearly this drastic.
This has been the most extreme cloudburst on record in India for the last 100 years. The most striking thing – more than the insane weather or the devastating effects on the city – is the generousity – nay, heroism – of the people there. They are in it together, helping each other and surviving. I was reading A Streetcar Named Desire on the bus yesterday and one of Blanche’s lines comes to my mind. “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”
Nice to see there are still some kind strangers out there.