Floods hit more than 14 million in South Asia: death toll crosses 650

assam flood

Torrential monsoon rain induced floods, landslides, collapse of buildings and houses, lighting, etc. have already taken a heavy price in the South Asia region. The disaster has created havoc in the life of the people in regions of Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Severe floods and lightning have claimed the lives of more than 650 people across India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Tens of thousands have been made homeless. Over-flown rivers have swept away people, cattle and houses. Spread of diseases has been reported from wide regions.

More than 14 million people in the South Asian countries have been affected by the floods, which has also forced tens of thousands to flee their homes. Thousands remain stranded in submerged homes or on rooftops of their homes surrounded by water spread over large area.

Media reports said:

Heavy rains since the start of July and floods, etc. have killed at least 467 people with many districts in Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam.

Heavy rains and overflowing rivers swamped vast swathes of eastern India more than week ago.

Red alert in Kerala

In the southern Indian coastal state of Kerala, authorities Monday warned of “extremely heavy falls” in four of the 14 districts of the state.

Rains continued to lash Kerala, with red alert being sounded in Kasargod, Idukki, Kozhikode and Kannur districts until July 23.

Orange alert has also been issued in Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram until July 25. Shutters of Pambla, Peringalkuthu, Kallarkutty, Bhooththankettu and Malankara dams in Idukki Districts are opened. The rains have caused a flood-like situation in many parts of the state.

Kerala last year faced its worst floods in about a century, with heavy rain and landslides killing nearly 500 people, destroying houses and wiping out farmlands.

Uttar Pradesh

In Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, lightning strikes killed 37 people in separate incidents.

The latest fatalities took the northern Indian state’s toll to 228 dead.


In Bihar, more than 7 million people from 12 districts of the state have been hit by the calamity.

Eight children in Bihar’s Nawada district were also killed by lightning on Friday, taking the toll in the eastern state to more than 100.

Flood situation is improving in Bihar with water levels in many rivers are receding.

Of the 12 affected districts, Sitamarhi remained the worst-affected, followed by Madhubani, Araria, Sheohar and Darbhanga.


In India’s tea-growing state of Assam, close to the border of Bangladesh, about 4 million people were affected in 18 of its 33 districts. Altogether 96,890 displaced persons are sheltered in 757 relief camps and relief distribution centers.

Severe flooding has displaced millions of people and killed more than 67 people.

In Assam, with the respite from downpour in the last few days, flood situation has improved significantly. However, major river Brahmaputra in Jorhat, Goalpara and Dhubri districts along with Dhansiri River in Golaghat district and Kopili River in Nagaon district are flowing above danger marks maintaining a receding trend at the same time.

In the state, 2,669 villages, more than a hundred of thousand hectares of cropland and a portion of the Kaziranga National Park in Golaghat district continued to remain submerged.

In the Kaziranga National Park in Golaghat district, the animal death toll due to drowning stands at 187 animals that includes 16 rhinos, 103 hog deer, one elephant, six swamp deer, 12 sambhar, two water buffaloes, 13 wild boars, three porcupines.

Maharashtra Himachal Pradesh

More than 70 people have died in building collapses in the states of Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh.

Karnataka West Bengal Sikkim

India’s coastal Karnataka, West Bengal and Himalayan Sikkim states also braced heavy downpours.


In Nepal, 90 people have died and another 29 are missing.

Nepal has been hit by heavy rainfall since July 11. More than 25 districts and 10,385 households have been affected in the country.

Flood-hit Nepal has appealed to the international agencies for help to prevent the possible water-borne diseases and to ensure proper health services to the tens of thousands of people affected by the floods.

Many parts of Kathmandu, including Kalanki, Kupondole, Kuleshwor and Balkhu were submerged.

Nepal Police have rescued 1,445 stranded people from different parts of the country.

The Health Emergency Operation Centre, set up by the Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population, has asked international partner agencies to help and mobilize their mechanisms in the districts hit by flood and landslide.

Health experts have warned of possible outbreaks of waterborne diseases-diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis E in the flood-hit areas of the Tarai region, as most of the water resources have been contaminated by floodwaters.

The Provinces 1, 2 and 3 are the worst hit, with Lalitpur, Bhojpur and Rautahat witnessing the highest death toll, reported The Himalayan Times.

Water level in the major rivers is coming down.

The floods have damaged more than 50 roads and bridges in the country.


In Bangladesh, floods have claimed more than 97 lives, most by drowning and lightning strikes in the last two weeks. At least 120 people have been reported missing and feared dead.

More than 3 million people have been affected by floods in 21 districts of Bangladesh. Among them, at least 700,000 people have been displaced.

Large swathes of agricultural fields are lying inundated in the country as a third of the country has been submerged as major rivers including the Brahmaputra, which broke a 44-year water-level record last week, and the Ganges burst their banks from heavy rains and from water from India and Nepal.

Two major river system – Jamuna and Tista – recorded highest flood level in last 100 years.

Authorities are struggling to deliver relief supplies to marooned people.

According to Bangladesh’s National Disaster Response Coordination Center (NDRCC), 21 districts of northern, northeastern and southeastern Bangladesh are most affected due to weeklong monsoon rains in the upstream regions and throughout the country. The flood situation has started deteriorating in a number of newly affected districts in the downstream regions of the country such as Tangail, Sirajganj, Bogura, Munshiganj and Faridpur.

Flooding has triggered river erosion, breached dams, snapped road and rail links, inundated crop fields and forced educational institutions shut in the country.

As floodwater started receding, waterborne diseases have begun spreading in some districts.

Many people are suffering from diarrhea, skin diseases, dysentery, cholera and other waterborne diseases.


Parts of Pakistan have also been flooded. At least 30 people have also lost lives in Pakistan.

Uneven monsoon rain

Monsoon rains, which deliver 75% of India’s annual rain, have not been evenly distributed.

According to the state-run India Meteorological Department, the Himalayan region has received substantially more rain than some of the areas in the plains, where rainfall deficiency has widened to 60%.

India monsoons below ‘normal’ baseline amid water crisis

India’s weather agency said Monday it was set to cut estimates for average monsoon rainfall after decades of below-normal downpours, with climate change causing greater variations.

India is grappling with a severe water crisis, with emergency supplies sent to Chennai after the drought-hit southern city saw only a fraction of the rain it usually receives during June and July.

The India Meteorological Department climate research chief Sivananda Pai said the country was in the middle of a multi-decadal epoch of low rainfall.

“If you take an average of 30 to 40 years, compared to say a 100 years of normal rainfall, we are passing through a below-normal rainfall,” he told AFP.

The current average of 89 centimeters, he said, was based on the agency’s observation from 1951-2000. The government agency revises the “normal” rain baseline every decade.

With India in a “low epoch” since the 1990s, meaning average rainfall has been below normal, a lower average rainfall forecast was likely, Pai said.

“It was around 88 centimeters during the period 1961 to 2010. When the new normal is extended to 2020, a further decrease is possible,” he added.

Rainfall for June in India was 112.1 millimeters compared to the average of 166.9 millimeters, a deficit of 33 percent according to the weather agency.

Pai said while average rainfall levels can change over the decades due to natural variability, “we can’t ignore the linkages to climate change”.

“Heavy rainfall and long dry periods can be linked to climate change. This has been the case across the world,” he said.


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