“We didn't get any time at all. There was a sound from the side and then the wall on the side collapsed. After this wall which was stopping the water collapsed, water gushed towards us,” said 60-year-old Mohammed Quraishi.
It was through this gush of water that Quraishi saw eight members of his family for the last time. In the heavy rains and the flash floods in Hyderabad in the second week of October, eight members of his family and Quraishi were washed away. Only Quraishi returned home. Out of the eight, bodies of five were recovered and three, including a 5-year-old boy, are missing. More than two weeks after the incident, he is still looking for them.
“The rainwater had flooded around the house and the rain was not stopping at all. As it was continuously raining, I decided to leave the house and take my children to my brother’s house. And for that, I woke my children up from sleep,” he said.
Just as they were getting out, the floodwater breached the wall. “The pressure of the water was increasing, and the walls were cracking. My two sons were standing near the gate and I was guiding them. They were taking their children and going to the other side,” he recollected.
“Just as they got out of the gate, they were washed away after the neighbouring house’s wall collapsed. The pressure from all three sides took everything in its way with it. It was all of a sudden. Even I was washed away, and I didn’t know where my children were. I kept looking for them, but I couldn’t see them and by then I had gone far in the water,” he said.
He later learnt that his brother jumped into the water to save them, but he also drowned. “I was fighting to stay alive because I was worried about my children. I wanted to get out of the water and look for my children. I even looked for them in the water,” he remembered.
He still hopes the three missing children from his family will be found be soon.