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Anatomy of a flood

Ms Ge seems to have conducted an endless number of interviews and she painstakingly reproduces them in her book. This is a powerful narrative technique

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BOOK REVIEW

Uttaran Das Gupta 

Cover of Rivers Remember: #Chennai trains and shocking truth of Manmade flood
Cover of Rivers Remember: #Chennai trains and shocking truth of Manmade flood. Credits: Amazon.in

On December 1, 2015, a record downpour of 490 mm — often described as “once in a 100-year” rainfall — inundated Chennai, killing hundreds and displacing thousands of its citizens. It also exposed how Indian cities are ill-prepared for such extreme weather events, which are likely to become more and more common as the climate change situation worsens. In Rivers Remember, Ms Ge — a writer, editor and citizen of Chennai — investigates what caused the calamity in her hometown and arrives at the conclusion that more than extreme weather it was administrative apathy that worsened the situation. This is not a fact of which we are unaware but are often reluctant to acknowledge.

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First Published: Fri, August 02 2019. 01:19 IST
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