India: Maharashtra Monsoon Floods - Information Bulletin n° 6

The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 181 countries.

In Brief

This Bulletin (no. 6/2005) 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

Flood waters are receding in Maharashtra but the death toll has soared to more than 700 since torrential rains began lashing the state on Tuesday 26 July.

Flood waters have mostly receded except in some low lying areas. There has been no significant rain in the state capital Mumbai for the past 24 hours, however the districts of Raigad and Ratnagiri have reported 200 mm of rainfall.

Police put the death toll to date at 738. This included victims of a stampede in a slum area of Mumbai last night caused by rumours of a dam burst. People have been killed due to landslides, electrocution, drowning and injuries suffered by being swept along by torrents.

More bodies were discovered today as flood waters receded. In northern Mumbai relief workers and survivors discovered 110 bodies in the wreckage of a slum obliterated by a landslide.

The state relief and rehabilitation department is providing funds to district administrations for relief efforts. The state government is also providing food and temporary shelter. The Indian Prime Minister visited Mumbai on Thursday and announced a five billion rupee (CHF 148.4 million, USD 115 million) aid package for relief work.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) Maharashtra state branch has sent a team of eight doctors and two paramedic staff to the district of Ratnagiri in response to a request from the district branch. This medical team has reported to local authorities and will work under their direction.

A consignment of medicines and food packets has been also sent to the Ratnagiri branch for immediate distribution.

The state branch in Mumbai has repackaged 10,000 loaves of bread received the state relief department into smaller parcels for air-drops by government helicopters to affected people.

Earlier this week, state branch staff and volunteers distributed food packages to 1,500 people stranded at railway stations in Mumbai. Various other initiatives such as food kitchens are being run by IRCS volunteers in the city.

The state branch will have a coordination meeting with district branches to assess future needs and requirements. Meanwhile the IRCS national headquarters and Federation will attend a SPHERE India meeting tomorrow in New Delhi (30 July) to discuss possible further relief efforts.

The IRCS national headquarters disaster management centre in New Delhi is monitoring the situation. Information is being shared by the IRCS state branch and national headquarters as well as with the Federation South Asia Regional Delegation. The Federation and the IRCS national headquarters DM team visited the regional warehouse in Bahadurgarh to check the latest DP stock position.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

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

In India: Jim Dawe, acting 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 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

MAP - India: Maharashtra and Goa floods - Situation map