India Floods – 80,000 Affected in Assam, Search for Missing Continues in Uttarakhand

Monsoon rains have brought flooding and landslides to several states in India over the last week. At least 30 people are dead or missing after floods in Chamoli and Pithoragarh Districts of Uttarakhand. The search continues for those still missing.

The heavy rain also caused a deadly landslide in the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh, where as many as 10 people have died.

In Assam state the flooding season has started in earnest and currently there are over 80,000 people affected by flooding in 4 districts.

Assam

Monsoon rains in river catchments have caused flooding in the northeastern state of Assam, India.

June and early July usually mark the beginning of the flood season in Assam, when the Brahmaputra River and its tributaries overflow as a result of the monsoon rains in Assam and upstream Arunachal Pradesh.

After several days of heavy rain from 01 July 2016, over 80,000 people and 4,000 hectares of crop land have been affected by recent flooding, according to Assam State Disaster Management Agency (ASDMA).

India’s Central Water Commission (CWC) report that the Brahmaputra River is flowing close to or above danger levels in around 16 locations, including Goalpara and Tezpur.

The worst affected district is Lakhimpur where 103 villages are currently inundated, affecting 68,000 people. The districts of Dhemaji (23 villages, 7,700 people), Nagaon (1 village, 340 people) and Jorhat (60 villages and 4,000 people) have also been affected. A bridge in Jorhat has been swept away by the floods.

No fatalities or injuries have been reported, and as of 04 July, there were no evacuations or reports of victims moving to relief camps.

This is the second time overflowing rivers have affected wide areas of the state in the space of 3 weeks. Over 13,000 were affected in the districts of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji from 14 June 2016.

In May, at least 11 people died in floods and landslides in Assam state after a period of heavy rain from 16 May, 2016. Six people died after a landslide in Hailakandi district and five died after a landslide in Karimganj District. A landslide also occurred in Dima Hasao district, although no fatalities were reported. In Karimganj District, as many as 68,000 people were also affected by floods. The flood water has since receded, according to ASDMA.

In April 2016, Assam experienced what was described as “pre-monsoon floods” where authorities said that areas in the the districts of Lakhimpur, Jorhat and Sivsagar were flooded, affecting 42,658 people.

Arunachal Pradesh

The monsoon is also active in the neighbouring states of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.

On 01 July, at least 10 people died in a landslide triggered by heavy rainfall in Bhalukpong, West Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh.

Arunachal Pradesh was also affected by the heavy rain in mid April. At least 16 people died in landslide triggered by the rain in Phamla village in Tawang district on Friday, 22 April 2016.

Search and rescue operations by NDRF after the Bhalukpong landslide, Arunachal Pradesh. Photo: NDRF
Search and rescue operations by NDRF after the Bhalukpong landslide, Arunachal Pradesh. Photo: NDRF
Search and rescue operations by NDRF after the Bhalukpong landslide, Arunachal Pradesh. Photo: NDRF
Search and rescue operations by NDRF after the Bhalukpong landslide, Arunachal Pradesh. Photo: NDRF

Uttarakhand

Deadly floods have also affected the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand in recent days, where over 30 people are dead or missing in the districts of Chamoli and Pithoragarh on 01 July 2016.

The search for the missing continues, carried out by emergency teams including personnel from Indo-Tibetan Border Police and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

Search operations after floods in Bastadi, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand. Photo: Indo-Tibetan Border Police
Search operations after floods in Bastadi, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand. Photo: Indo-Tibetan Border Police
Search operations after floods in Bastadi, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand. Photo: Indo-Tibetan Border Police
Search operations after floods in Bastadi, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand. Photo: Indo-Tibetan Border Police
Search operations after floods in Bastadi, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand. Photo: Indo-Tibetan Border Police
Search operations after floods in Bastadi, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand. Photo: Indo-Tibetan Border Police
Search operations after floods in Bastadi, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand. Photo: Indo-Tibetan Border Police
Search operations after floods in Bastadi, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand. Photo: Indo-Tibetan Border Police

Flood summary

Last updated: August 15, 2016
Event
Assam, India, July to August 2016
Date
July 1 to August 4, 2016
Type
Landslide, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall, Long-term rainfall
After several days of heavy rain from 01 July 2016, thousands of people and hectares of crop land have been affected by recent flooding, according to Assam State Disaster Management Agency (ASDMA). The situation improved and the numbers affected greatly reduced from 04 August.

Locations

A - Lakhimpur
B - Golaghat
C - Morigaon
D - Barpeta
E - Jorhat
F - Biswanath
G - Sivsagar

Magnitude

River level
Overflowing
Brahmaputra River - July 5 to July 6, 2016
India’s Central Water Commission (CWC) reported on 05 July that the Brahmaputra River is flowing close to or above danger levels in around 16 locations, including Goalpara and Tezpur.
River level
30.77 metres
Sankosh at Golokganj, Dhubri - July 27 to July 27, 2016
Orange level alert from CWC (orange level is issued when the river level is flowing within 0.5 m of High Flood.Highest recorded level of the Sankosh at Golokganj is 30.95 metres in September 2007
River level
45.82 metres
Beki River at Beki Road bridge, Barpeta - July 27 to July 27, 2016
Orange alert
River level
66.22 metres
Brahmaputra River at Tezpur, Sonitpur - July 27 to July 27, 2016
Orange alert

Damages

Affected
1,794,554
July 1 to July 29, 2016
Lakhimpur, Golaghat, Bongaigaon, Jorhat, Dhemaji, Sivsagar, Barpeta, Kokrajhar, Nagoan, Dibrurgarh, Chirang, Goalpara, Tinsukia, Dhubri, Morigaon, Sontipur, Biswanath, Darrang and Nalbari. Figure as of 29 July.The numbers affected greatly reduced from 04 August.
Fatalities
34 people
1 person swept away by flood water in Morigaon district, according to local media. on 14 July, ASDMA reported 2 deaths in separate landslides in Kamrup district. On 24 July, ADSMA reported another fatality in North Lakhimpur. As of 25 July, local media say the death toll stood at 7.By 29 July, the figure had increased to 18. on 28 July alone, 3 died in Barpeta district, one in Dhemaji and one in Kokrajhar.By 01 August, local media reported the figure to be 34
Buildings destroyed
868 buildings
July 1 to July 26, 2016
Figures as of 26 July. 867 houses damaged were in Jorhat, the other in Chirang.
Evacuated
229,544
July 1 to July 29, 2016
As of 29 July, 517 relief camps and 186 relief distribution centres.By 04 August the number of displaced had fallen to 18,708.
Additional
402 wild animals
July 26 to August 2, 2016
Kaziranga National Park said 402 animals, including 32 rhinos and 342 deer, died in the recent floods During the floods, a total of 107 animals were also rescued. Among the rescued were nine rhinos and 94 deer.

Flood summary

Last updated: July 20, 2016
Event
Chamoli and Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand, India, July 2016
Date
July 1 to July 2, 2016
Type
Inland flood, Landslide, River flood
Cause
Long-term rainfall
A period of heavy rain in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, left at least 30 people dead or missing, and several houses destroyed or washed away in the districts of Chamoli and Pithoragarh.

Locations

A - Chamoli
B - Pithoragarh

Magnitude

Rainfall level
40 mm in 24 hours
June 25 to June 30, 2016
IMD say that parts of Uttarakhand have seen heavy rainfall since 25 June 2016, with several locations reporting levels of 40 mm or more in a 24 hour period.
River level
Overflowing
Alaknanda River, Uttarakhand - July 1 to July 2, 2016
River level
Overflowing
Mandakini River, Uttarakhand - July 1 to July 2, 2016

Damages

Fatalities
30 people
Chamoli and Pithoragarh - July 1 to July 1, 2016
Figure includes fatalities and missing people combined.