India

Floods in India - Christian Aid update

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Staff at Christian Aid's partner organisation CASA, in Mumbai were caught up in the chaos brought on the city by dramatic floods. The rainfall on Tuesday 26 July was the heaviest recorded in a single day in India, with more than 65 centimetres falling in Mumbai.
Sam Selwine was in CASA's office in central Mumbai on Tuesday afternoon.

'At first the rain was not heavy, but then we started to see the trees surrounded by water and rain lash against the windows,' he said. 'So I said, let's go home, it is not good to stay here.'

Together with seven other staff members who lived in his area of town, Mr Selwine travelled in one of the office 4 x 4s. It was a long, difficult journey home.

'Eight of us were in the car for 14 hours, with two bottles of water and no food.'

He reached home at 5.30am on Weds. His wife, a teacher in a local school, had arrived at 1am after waiting for parents to collect all the children. Phone lines were down, so it was two days before he was able to hear that his daughters were safe in their homes a few miles away.

'We have done lots of disaster training at CASA, but it is very different when it hits your own family' Mr Selwine said. 'You feel the pain.'

Christian Aid has donated £50,000 to CASA for their immediate response. It is now working with all those affected by the floods, especially in the outer rural areas.

They will not be able to return to normal the following day' said Mr Selwin. 'The worst affected are always the poorest of the poor.'