After two weeks, the authorities in India are still trying to come up with an official death toll in the Morvi Dam disaster.
After two weeks, the authorities in India are still trying to come up with an official death toll in the Morvi Dam disaster. At present the toll stands at about thirteen hundred, but the Lloyds Insurance group says the number of dead could reach as high as ten thousands.
SYNOPSIS: This was the cause of all the suffering in Morvi. This dam wasn't rains, and it almost completely destroyed the village. Getting help to the stricken area has also been made difficult by the damage to the bridge which connects the village with the outside world. Workers are constructing a temporary bridge, but for now the only way to get into Morvi is by foot.
When the dam burst, thousands of people were caught in the flood waters. There is not yet any clear estimate as to how many died, but it is feared that the death toll could run into the tens of thousands.
The flood waters damaged or completely destroyed all of the village's factories producing tiles, pottery, ceramics, and the railway lines. And rescue workers are still digging through the millions of tonnes of mud looking for more bodies. The official estimate of dead now stands at about thirteen hundred, however more bodies are being uncovered every day.
About thirty thousand people have left Morvi since the flood disaster. Some are staying in refugee centres like this one, set up by the state government, or they have travelled to neighbouring towns and villages. However, the immediate problem to be solved is in rebuilding the road and rail lines. Only this way will the government be able to send in the much needed food and medical supplies. Now the authorities are worried about a possible outbreak of cholera in the area.
Some of the survivors have now been able to return to their homes, but most of the town has been reduced to a virtual heap of mud. One political leader, Mr. Madhaysinh Solanki of the Congress party, criticised the state government for failing to foresee the disaster. Mr. Solanki said there was "Criminal delay" in launching the rescue and relief operation. He said the authorities in Gujarat state had not even been able to find enough wood to carry out cremations.
The government has asked banks in the state to provide the residents of Morvi with interest - free loans to help them to rebuild their homes. Several of the villages flour mills are also expected to resume operation within the next few days, and the power supply to the city has already been resumed. However, the search for bodies is expected to take several more week, and the rebuilding of the village several more months.