CATASTROPHIC EFFECTS OF WEATHER – Case of Mumbai and Houston

By | September 6, 2017

Two massive cities located on the opposite ends of the world are affected due to heavy rains which have brought huge damage and devastation. Houston | Mumbai

For Houston, it was quite rare but for Mumbai, it is actually a very common thing. Due to human activities and urban development, the occurrence of natural disasters nowadays is very common, which has caused a huge damage to property, population, and land. Floods and heavy rains are one amongst them. For a place like Mumbai, heavy rains are a common thing due to frequent climate change which also, in turn, increases the disaster risk.

In the last few months more than 1000 people have died due to heavy rains and it has also caused huge damage to property.

Mumbai this time was hardly affected, which resulted in the collapse of a 117-year-old building whose foundation had been weakened by the flooding. These kinds of tragedies happen almost every year in south Asia. But the disaster was unprecedented for Houston and also for the continental US. Mumbai experienced similar flooding just 12 years ago. Due to inadequate housing and unhygienic conditions, the death rate is usually high this monsoon season in Mumbai. Experts and affected people say that Indian government is doing nothing to prevent this type of damage during a disaster and is also so much irresponsible towards the condition.

Mumbai authorities have ignored the plan of upgrading city drainage system, clear drains of plastic debris and install pumping stations and flood gates. In most cities lakes, ponds and even wide open spaces acted as sponges to absorb excess rain.

Scientists say that flooding events can become more frequent due to global warming and other activities of urban development.

Already, the average temperature has increased by 1.8 Celsius in the past few years. This also increases snow and ice melt which sends more water to the plains. Extreme rains will also affect irrigation activities cause deforestation, soil erosion etc. Nearly 520 people were killed last month in Bihar.

These problems are not only confined to India. Recent floods in Nepal killed 149 people and left 29 missing. It should become important for authorities to develop measures to cope up with floods in future.

In Mumbai, there are obvious reasons for the improvement.

By – Deepali Bhanot, ALS Gurgaon

Content Writer @ Legal Bites

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