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More rains hit India

More rain was hitting India on Sunday as the death toll climbed to 1,000 in the wake of floods caused by monsoon rains in western India.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | July 31, 2005

More rain was hitting India on Sunday as the death toll climbed near 1,000 in the wake of floods caused by monsoon rains in western India. Driving rain prompted emergency officials to issue more flood watches.

New flooding has occurred in the district of Raigad, about 100 miles south of India.

Faith-based groups are caring for survivors.

Last week floodwaters inundated vast areas of Maharashtra state, and tore through the streets of Bombay, according to government reports. There are 376 deaths in Bombay alone, and at least 15 people died in a panicky stampede that occurred after rumors of a dam bursting. An estimated 100 people were buried under an avalanche of mud in the village of Juigaon, south of Bombay. Another landslide near Andheri has killed at least 56 more people.

Bombay has been hit by an unprecedented deluge of rain - 37 inches. Flash flooding has cut off several villages and landslides have buried dozens of people. Search-and-rescue was continuing on Friday.

Bombay, India’s financial hub city and home to 15 million people, is surrounded by crowded shantytowns. Bombay officially changed its name to Mumbai a few years ago.

Faith-based groups have been providing relief throughout the monsoon season in India.

Earlier this month, in Gujarat, heavy monsoon rains caused severe flooding and left one million people homeless in that area. Flood damage also occurred in Madhya Pradesh. The Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) started a food program for evacuees living in temporary shelters. CASA, a member of the global coalition Action by Churches Together (ACT), has assisted thousands of people during the last several weeks.

Church World Service and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance also reported they were supporting the efforts of CASA.

Since the flooding has occurred in phases - unfolding since the end of June - CASA and other groups are still assessing needs in cooperation with local government agencies and village leaders.

Other ACT members - Lutheran World Service India, United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India, and Lutheran World Service India - are also responding by offering drinking water, food, plastic sheets for temporary shelters, hygiene kits, and other emergency supplies.

Many denominational disaster response groups have been also assisting India with recovery efforts in the wake of the Dec. 26 tsunami.

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