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6 million affected, 90 000 displaced and 470 dead as flood situation remains grim in India

6-million-affected-90-000-displaced-and-470-dead-as-flood-situation-remains-grim-in-india

The extensive flood situation due to seasonal monsoon rains remains severe in India as the death toll has crossed 470 this week, according to the National Emergency Response Center (NDMI). West Bengal is the worst-hit state, with 142 fatalities. More than 6 million people are now affected and more than 91 000 have been displaced.

About 470 fatalities have been reported across nine states– 142 in West Bengal, 111 in Assam, 81 in Gujarat, 46 in Maharashtra, 44 in Madhya Pradesh, 25 in Kerala, 19 in Uttarakhand, and two in Uttar Pradesh.

NDMI also reported that more than 6 085 400 people are now affected across the aforementioned states, including Bihar. 91 950 have so far been displaced.

In Delhi alone, floodwaters have washed away more than 10 000 homes, prompting authorities to set up 300 relief camps. Several hundred villages have been totally cut off by high waters, hampering relief and rescue operations.

In Assam, the flood situation remains critical, "most of the rivers flowing menacingly above the danger mark," water resources minister Keshab Mahanta told Reuters.

Rapidly rising water levels have inundated Kaziranga National Park, home to the largest concentration of one-horned rhinoceros in the world. The park houses an estimated 2 500 out of a total population of around 3 000 of the animals.

According to agriculture minister Atul Bora, nine rhinos have drowned and more than 100 animals perished. 60 other animals also drowned, including buffalo, hog deer, and porcupines. 

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 122 teams across India to tackle the flood situation, a spokesperson announced Tuesday, July 21.

85 rescue and relief teams have been pre-positioned in vulnerable states, while its 12 battalions across the nation have been alerted and ordered to be prepared to deal with any flood situation triggered by monsoon rains.

The spokesperson added that these teams are positioned in 20 states, with a maximum of 19 in Bihar, followed by 12 in Assam.

Nine teams have been deployed in Gujarat, seven in Maharasthra, six each in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, four in Karnataka, and three each in Kerala, Punjab, and Uttarakhand.

More heavy rainfall is forecast over much of the country, except over Gujarat and Rajasthan, on July 22. Meanwhile, locally, very heavy rainfall is expected over the northeastern and northern states.

Featured image credit: Rakesh/Twitter

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