India: Maharashtra Monsoon Floods - Information Bulletin n° 11


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In Brief

This Bulletin (no. 11/2005) is being issued for information only, and reflects the status of the situation and information available at this time . The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

The Situation

Seven weeks following the torrential deluge which flooded large areas of the western state of Maharashtra including the state capital Mumbai, the waters have receded and basic services have been re-established. The disaster claimed approximately 1,200 lives and affected 20 million people.

Much of Mumbai's drainage system collapsed and as the flood waters subsided, there was a continued risk from water-borne diseases. The most serious of these has been leptospirosis which is a disease people get when they wade through water infected by animal urine. Water-borne diseases have caused an estimated 150 deaths in the weeks following the flooding.

As of 6 September 2005, the Ministry of Home Affairs (National Disaster Management Division) reported that 3,200 people continued to be living in 44 relief camps. This is a significant reduction from a month ago when approximately 200,000 people were living in relief camps.

The Maharashtra state government reports the following impacts of the disaster include;

  • 20,000 hectares of farmland have become waste due to topsoil being washed away
  • 550,000 hectares of crops were damaged
  • Over 26,000 cattle losses
  • Over 350,000 houses partially damaged and over 14,000 homes destroyed
  • Damage to roads and bridges estimated at CHF 330 million (USD 266 million, EUR 214 million)

The Indian government is looking at addressing reducing long-term vulnerability of the flood-affected areas, especially Mumbai which has a population of over 20 million people. Among the recommendations being examined by the government are:

  • The large number of people living in low quality housing in highly vulnerable areas, particularly the bed of the Mithi River.

  • Replacement of the Mumbai drainage system which is more than 100 years old. A Maharashtra state government report notes that unless this is done, monsoon preparedness measures will not be effective in the face of severe flooding.

The central and state governments launched a major relief effort and coordinated extensively with NGOs, UN bodies, etc. There was a significant financial response from the Indian corporate sector.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In India: Indian Red Cross Society (Dr S P Agarwal, Secretary-General); email:, phone: +91.11.2371.6441; fax:+91.11.2371.7454

In India: Azmat Ulla, Head of Delegation, New Delhi), email:, phone: +91.11.2332.4203, fax: +91.11.2332.4235

In Geneva: Jagan Chapagain, Senior Officer, Asia Pacific department; email:; phone:+41.22.730.4316; fax: +41.22.733.0395; Hiroto Oyama, Senior Officer, Asia Pacific department; email:; phone: +91.22.730.4273 or Nelly Khrabrayal; email:; phone: +41.22.730.4306

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at

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