India witnessing multiple severe flooding situations


After another period of heavy rains over the past couple of days, India is again witnessing multiple flooding situations in various places. The worst affected states are currently Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. At least 35 deaths have been reported by August 23. Nearly 50 000 are marooned in Bihar's Patna district which is experiencing the worst flood since 1975.

At present, a low-pressure area has formed over Northwest Bay of Bengal and has gradually intensified into a deep depression and moved across Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh up to Rajasthan. This system has given fairly widespread heavy rains with extremely heavy rains at a few places over the past seven days. These heavy rains are the reason that has triggered floods in many parts of Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, the SkyMetWeather reported.

Although rains have temporarily stopped over East Madhya Pradesh, a fresh low-pressure area formed Sunday, August 21 over Bangladesh and West Bengal and intensified into a well-marked low-pressure lying over West Bengal and Jharkhand.

"This weather system has already given fairly widespread moderate to heavy rains over West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha and some parts of Chhattisgarh. Now, the intensity of rain is once again expected to increase over Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, East Uttar Pradesh and East Madhya Pradesh and we expect the ongoing flood situation will get even worse with this fresh spell of heavy rains. The second weather system will move rapidly towards West Madhya Pradesh and in next 2 – 3 days it will start giving heavy rains over East Rajasthan and Gujarat," SkyMetWeather meteorologists warned. 

Video courtesy India Today

Video courtesy India TV

In Bihar, a sudden discharge of 1.16 million cusecs (cubic feet per second / 28 liters per second) of water into Sone river from Indrapuri barrage in Rohtas district triggered one of the worst floods in Patna district since 1975 and also affected ten other districts of Bihar that are situated on the banks of river Ganga, killing 13 people, DNA India reported. Along with Patna, the districts of Bhagalpur, Buxar, Vaishali, Samastipur, Khagaria, Bhojpur, Begusarai, Lakhi Sarai, Munger and Katihar were also affected. Nine deaths were reported from Bhojpur, while two each were reported from Bhagalpur and Vaishali, the state disaster management authority said.

The enormous discharge of water in Bihar marooned nearly 50 000 people in Patna alone and 10 000 had to be rescued as water from Ganga rose above the danger mark and entered homes, residential colonies and buildings situated on the riverbank. Early on Sunday morning, the Ganga was flowing at Dighaghat in Patna at 52.12 m (170 feet) while the Sone was flowing at 53.7 m (176 feet) in Maner. Besides Sone and Ganga, Burhi Gandak and Kosi are in spate at Khagaria and Balsara and Kulsera respectively, officials said.

In Madhya Pradesh, three days of continuous rain have caused floods in Katni, Rewa, Chattarpur, Raisen, Sagar and Satna districts. At last 17 fatalities have been reported. Many of the victims died after buildings collapsed in Sagar and Satna districts and more are missing, feared dead. Search and rescue operations continue.

Several rivers in the state of Uttar Pradesh, including the Ganges, have been flowing above the danger mark and people living in low-lying areas have been moving to higher ground. As of August 22, rivers are at or above danger levels in 18 locations in the state. Flooding has affected the districts of Banda, Jalaun, Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Ballia and Allahabad. The state government has ensured drinking water is available in flooded areas by installing over 2 500 handpumps in 21 districts.

Rajasthan's districts of Baran, Jhalawar, Chittorgarh and Pratapgarh are flooded after heavy rains that started on August 20. At least 8 people, all members of the same family, died after a part of a house collapsed in Baran district. Severe flooding in Pratapgarh has prompted flood rescues by Air Force helicopters.

In Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand state, a cloudburst on August 20 triggered a landslide that claimed the lives of at least 7 people and critically injured 2. 

Video courtesy Zee News

On August 11, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs Disaster Management Division said that at least 480 people have died in rain flood-related incidents since the start of this year’s monsoon in June. As many as 6 187 homes have been destroyed and 62 599 damaged, according to their report. Most deaths (95) occurred in Bihar.

Featured image credit: India TV, August 2016.

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