Floods have arrived early in Bangladesh and north-east India. Monsoon season isn’t yet upon us, but several Indian states have already been hit by serious flooding, leaving at least 6 dead.
Areas of north-east India, particularly West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have been shrouded in cloud which eventually gave way to days of incessant pre-monsoon rains. The state of Assam was badly hit with flooding in 2012 where over 2 million people were affected.
Flash floods in the remote areas of Arunachal resulted in the deaths of 6 people. The tragedy occurred on Saturday 4 May 2013, and included 3 children. The location of the flood is not far from the Subansiri Lower Dam in Lower Subansiri District on the border of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh states.
Cheif Minister, Nabam Tuki, has announced a red alert for the whole state in response the flood threats. Directives have been issued to all deputy commissioners and other officials to make necessary arrangements for flood relief, such as medical aid, rescue and temporary accommodation.
Elsewhere in north eastern India, heavy rainfall resulted in the Brahmaputra River in Assam bursting its banks, flooding parts the nearby city of Jorhat. Rainfall reached almost 90cm in 24 hours in areas in the Tripura city of Agartala. This city is especially vulnerable to flooding since it lies on the banks of the Haora River, just over 1 mile from the Bangladesh border.
It is worrying that these floods have come so early in the season, especially for the farming community. Crops have already suffered and in Assam it is believed that 350 hectares of farmland lies under water after sever flooding there.
More floods seem to be inevitable in the new few days since the weather patterns of low pressure that has brought the heavy rainfall look to stay put. To make matters worse, a tropical cyclone – Tropical Cyclone Mahsen – was seen located about 200 miles from Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal and could well be moving towards the Bangladeshi city of Cittagong, and also parts of Myanmar. Evacuations have already begun in Bangladesh, with up to 1 million people moved from the area.