24 dead, 11 000 displaced after highest August rain in 44 years hits Madhya Pradesh, India

24 dead, 11 000 displaced after highest August rain in 44 years hits Madhya Pradesh, India

At least 24 people lost their lives while 11 000 residents have been displaced after heavy rains struck Madhya Pradesh from August 27 to 31, 2020, causing major flooding. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), this was the state's highest rainfall for the month of August in 44 years.

Authorities reported at least 24 fatalities while 11 000 others have been evacuated by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) from widespread flooding during the end of August.

More than 400 mm (16 inches) of rain was recorded in a 24-hour period to August 30 solely. This led the Narmada River at Hoshangabad to rise around 2 m (7 feet) above the danger mark on August 1. 

Other districts hit badly by flooding include Raisen, Sehore, Bhopal, Vidisha, Chhindwara, Balaghat, Seoni, Katni, Sagar, Shivpuri and Ujjain

India’s Disaster Management Division (DMD) said flooding over the past few days has affected 33 000 people across 1 906 villages and 28 districts of the state. A total of 11 197 homes have also been damaged.

IMD said rainfall has been 25 percent more than usual in August, which was the highest for the month in 44 years. According to IMD, the previous August record for the state was set in 1983, when rainfall was 23.8 percent above the normal.

"Extremely heavy rain in Madhya Pradesh and other parts of central India is mainly because of a strong low-pressure area over west Madhya Pradesh and east Rajasthan," said IMD director-general M Mohapatra.

"We are expecting rain to decrease gradually over central India but Gujarat may experience very heavy rains for one more day. Then rains will increase over the northern plains when the monsoon trough shifts northwards around September 2."

Featured image credit: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan

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