Hyderabad rains: Hundreds turn homeless and without food as Musi brims

Hyderabad: Over the last two days, normal life was disrupted as heavy rains battered the city on Tuesday. Flood water submerged roads and houses alike, with vehicles floating and displaced people sitting on first floors, watching their homes getting damaged.

The torrential rains in Hyderabad left more than 800 families displaced overnight between October 13 and 14, without food and shelter. One of the reasons behind the damage was the 13 gates of Himayat Sagar being lifted on Wednesday morning, which added to the Musi floods on its downstream in the city.

After decades, Hyderabad received over 20 cm rains in 24 hours and at least 15 deaths were registered in the city due to the rains, while  several others are still missing. The incessant rains also put many dilapidated buildings and structures at risk.

In Shaheen Nagar, a 6-year-old boy Ayaan was found missing from Wednesday night, after Ayaan’s mother and sister washed away in the water and died. Ayaan’s father Abdul Haq told to siasat.com. “I lost my wife and my daughter. They both were washed away in the water and their bodies were found near Balapur Talab. The police and I are still on a lookout for my son.”

Areas affected

Several tanks, which were empty earlier, are now overflowing and have breached their total capacity. This led to continuous gush of water inundating several low lying areas in and around Bandlaguda, Balapur, Jalpally, Sivrampally and Shaheenagar to name a few. 

Other areas in the heart of the old city like Talab Katta, Ganga Nagar, Yakutpura, Amanagar, etc. witnessed rain and sewage water entering into houses. People living on the banks of the Musi are also severely affected. Several of these areas are still not accessible to relief works due to overflowing water and road blockages.

The situation in areas to the west of the city like Nadeem Colony, Habeenagar, Afzal Sagar and other parts of Golconda is equally bad.

Over 2000 people have been evacuated from low lying areas and from the banks of the river Musi by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) authorities, flood relief teams, police department and several NGOs. The rescued persons have been moved to functional halls, community halls and GHMC shelter homes. 

It has also been worse for daily wagers and labourers in urban slums south of the river Musi – who are yet to come to terms with the aftermath of the COVID-induced lockdown and economic shock which rendered many jobless and without income.

A resident of Yakutpura, Shahnaz Begum who, along with her two children, was rescued by the DRF team said, “We were floating in water for more than an hour. When the water entered my house, I took both my children on my back and climbed on the rooftop of my house. But slowly, the water came onto the roof and we ended up floating. It was when we started shouting for help, the rescue teams arrived with boats.”

Flooded areas due to Musi water flow are Malakpet, Kishanbag, Ziaguda, Puranapul, MGBS, Chaderghat and Golnaka, etc. Several bikes, autos, cars, household items are known to have washed away in these areas and the residents are experiencing nightmares with the floodwater.  

According to residents of Chaderghat, they did not receive any warning from the authorities regarding evacuation. “During last month’s heavy rainfall, the authorities have shifted us for a day in the relief camps. But now, they did not issue any notice for evacuation. At least 300 families have been severely affected and have saved their lives by themselves,” claims Mohammed Sarwar, a resident of Chaderghat lower bridge. 

He said that the teams have come to rescue, but they returned as the flow of water was very high and they rescued only 8 to 12 people from flooded houses near Chaderghat lower bridge. The rest of them have saved themselves by reaching to the top floors of nearby buildings. “However, some washed away in the water and their bodies haven’t been found yet,” he noted.

Old Malakpet division Corporator Mohammed Saifuddin Shafi said, “In Malakpet constituency, around 600 families residing on the banks of Musi have been shifted to relief camps in Madarsas, Function Halls and Community Halls”.

Most of the affected families in these areas have not eaten a meal from Tuesday evening. Even as the relief works are undergoing, several families complained of being hungry when this siasat.com reporter was on the field.

In Karwan Constituency’s Nadeem Colony and other areas, Disaster Response Force (DRF) teams and Indian Army soldiers used boats for evacuating over 600 people from 170 houses. They are currently in relief camps at Little Tulip school, Masjid-e-Khadija and other community halls. The affected 500 families in Yathrab Nagar and Dhobhi Ghat too are shifted to relief camps. 

Helping Hand Foundation sets up flood relief desk

Observing the suffering, the city-based NGO Helping Hand Foundation (HHF) set up a control room for flood relief in a mosque. The volunteers of HHF started distributing blankets, dry rations, fruits, water and bread in flood-hit areas. They also set up a control room in Masjid Mohammed e Mustafa, opposite to Pillar number 230 of PVNR Expressway. 

“The Masjid has now been set up as the pivot around which the relief work will be operationalized and will serve as command and control center for the relief work by HHF to all, regardless of faith or religion. The Masjid is Wi-Fi enabled and has adequate space to facilitate relief operations,” informed Mujtaba Hussain Askari, founder of HHF.

All relief material will be mobilized, collected and distributed from the Masjid. Further, in a first, a Langar has been set up to serve freshly prepared food two times a day. The relief operations will continue till the ground situation improves in the city. The helpline number of the NGO is 96035 40864.