Saturday, August 19, 2006

Indians rush to drink 'divine sweet sea water'

Thousands of people have flocked to Mahim beach in Mumbai since Friday night after reports of sea water turning sweet spread all over the city. News spread overnight that the murky waters of this Arabian sea creek had miraculously turned sweet and could cure illnesses, police said on Saturday.

Mumbai is the commercial capital city of India. It is highly a populated urban centre and the creek's murky waters receive thousands of tonnes of sewage and industrial waste every day.

"Sweet seawater, this is a miracle. This water is divine," Sheikh Naseer, a Mumbai resident, told a local TV news channel.

There has been a mad rush to this creek. There is a dargah nearby and people felt this is something divine," said S. Kumar, a police officer, referring to an Islamic mausoleum in the area.

Police and city officials have warned that the water temporarily lost its salinity due to several reasons, including pollution and inflow of freshwater from a nearby source and drinking this water could be harmful.

Last year three people drowned in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai after thousands of people made a dash for a beach where diamonds were rumoured to be washing ashore.

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