This day, 11 years back, was when Mumbai came to a standstill. Rainfall reached the 1000mm mark after showering 22 hours non-stop. Power was cut, people were stranded and cars were submerged. For the first time, the Mumbai Airport remained closed for more than 30 hours. It was my third year studying engineering away from home, at the hostel. Below is my experience surviving alone and getting back home as jotted that day in my 2005 journal.
26th July, 2005 – Day #1
14:00 Heavy rains have just begun. College was as usual. Dad reported heavy rains in Mumbai. Reached hostel & went to sleep.
17:00 Woke up. No water supply. No electricity since 15:00. Water has risen 1/2 ft above the road. Trains have already stopped.
19:00 It’s raining heavier. Water level up to 3.5 Ft in some places. Going for early dinner. No way to speak to Mumbai with mobile & landline networks already down.
20:00 Finished dinner at the only one open. Shopkeepers are busy applying plaster of paris or white cement on the shutters. Water level has risen to 1.5 ft on the road.
21:00 People living in the A-type houses & B-type apartment ground floors have begun evacuating as water level inside the rooms is above 3 ft. Nothing else to do, so off to sleep.
27th July, 2005 – Day #2
01:30 Heard people screaming & animals crying. Lot of noise in the hostel. Woke up to find water was already 1.25 ft into the house, about 4.5 ft above road level. Together with the boys, we started moving the landlord’s refrigerator, washing machine, dressing table, television, computer, clothes, mattresses, grinder & other things to the 1st & 2nd Floors. Continue reading Flashback: The Mumbai floods of 2005