Bombay and the surrounding region of Maharashtra have been hit by unprecedented flash floods that have already caused the death of hundreds of people. Half of the victims perished in Mumbai.
Many people drowned or were electrocuted, but a lot of them died in landslides that hit the shantytowns in the Mumbai suburbs. In northern Mumbai, a whole shantytown was crushed by a hill that collapsed on top of it.
" With its 18 million inhabitants, Mumbai is one of the most disaster-prone cities in the world. The rapid urbanization, the building of shantytowns on unsafe locations is increasing the vulnerability of people to natural disasters " says Salvano Briceño, Director of ISDR's secretariat.
By 2010, Mumbai will grow from 18 million people to 23.6 million according to the "The State of the World's Cities", a report published by UN-HABITAT in 2001.
" The rapid growth of the city will cause enormous pressures on infrastructures and requires serious disaster risk reduction solutions such as adequate drainage, early warning systems, new enforcement of building regulations and slum upgradings, " says Salvano Briceño. In Mumbai, 12 million of people are living in slums.
In 2010, Mumbai, Calcutta and Delhi will be in the list of the world's top 10 most populated cities. "Those cities are also in the top list for disaster-prone cities because poverty makes them more vulnerable to floods and weather-related disasters" adds Salvano Briceño.