Hyderabad floods cause untold misery to many families

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BY MOHAMMED SHAFEEQ
Hyderabad, Oct 19 (IANS)
Heavy rains and flash floods have caused untold misery to hundreds of families in Hyderabad as many of them lost everything in the worst natural calamity to strike the city in recent years.
Breach or overflowing of lakes and storm water drains inundated several areas twice in the last week.
The floods triggered by breach of Gurram Cheruvu lake in Chandrayangutta area of old city on Saturday night unleashed unprecedented havoc as houses were submerged and cars and other vehicles were washed away like toys.
Badly mangled vehicles, collapsed electric poles and heaps of debris, garbage and mud on the streets were all left in the affected areas after the calamity.
Mohammed Azizuddin’s family lost all their belongings when the flood water submerged Gulshan Iqbal Colony on Saturday. He, his wife and three children had no time to pick up a few essential household items when an announcement was made from a local mosque urging people to evacuate the area and move to safe places.
“We have nothing left except the clothes we were wearing,” Ayesha Azizuddin told IANS. She broke down while narrating their plight.
Her husband, suffering from kidney ailment, had gone to a hospital for dialysis on Saturday. He and his son were caught in the rain while returning home in their small car. He parked the vehicle by the road side as the water level was rising alarmingly and entering the car. They left the vehicle and walked towards their home.
Azizuddin recalled that they reached home around 1.30 a.m. and were having food when all hell broke loose in the colony after an announcement was made to evacuate the area. The colony was submerged by the water overflowing from a storm water drain after the breach of Gurram Cheruvu.
“There was panic all around. We had no time to pick up even our mobile phones. The water gushed in and in no time we were in waist deep water. We could barely walk and save ourselves,” recalled Azizuddin, who requires dialysis thrice a week.
With no sources of income following Azizuddin’s health, the family was already struggling to survive. In fact it was only on Friday that the family had shifted from one rented house to the other. “Even the ration somebody had donated was destroyed in the floods,” said Ayesha, who took shelter at her brother’s house.
When she returned home after the water receded, she was shocked to see the destruction. The mud which washed in with flood water rendered clothes and household items unusable. With everything lost, they don’t know how to begin life afresh.
Dozens of colonies were submerged after the breach of Gurram Cheruvu, also known as Balapur lake, following heavy rains. Omer Colony, Hafiz Baba Nagar, Naseeb Nagar, Gulshan Iqbal Colony, Yousufain Colony, Akbar Nagar and Parvati Nagar were among the areas inundated.
People took shelter on the first or second floor but those who had small houses with only the ground floor had to leave for safe places.
Mohammed Ghouse, an autorickshaw driver, lost his three-wheeler, his only source of income, parked in front of his house. “It was washed away along with many vehicles. We could do nothing as reaching a safe place to save ourselves was our only concern,” he said.
Ghouse, a resident of Baba Naga B Block, along with his family members, shifted to the house of a relative in an area which was not affected by the floods.
People living in Hafiz Baba Nagar A Block were lucky to escape the disaster. As the colony is located on an elevated position, flood water did not enter their houses.
“We have been living here since the early 1980s but never saw a situation like this. Nobody anticipated this. Since it was raining heavily for the last few days, some people had put up sandbags to prevent flooding of their lanes but when the lake breached nothing could stand in the way of flood water,” said Mohammed Habeeb, who lives in Block A.
Officials said the heavy rains and floods have affected over 37,000 families in the city.
Various rain related incidents in and around the city and other parts of Telangana over the last one week have claimed 60 lives.

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