Heavy rainfall has brought devastating floods to areas of Madhya Pradesh in India, while water levels of the Narmada and Betwa rivers are flowing above danger levels.
The floods have been so bad that India’s military (army and air force) were called into action on Friday 23rd August, to help with relief and rescue operations. The army is operating in the worst hit areas – Hoshangabad and Dewas. The Indian Air Force is using helicopters to help with evacuations and also to bring food and other supplies to the victims, especially in Hoshangabad which is cut off from the rest of the state. More than 3,000 people had to be evacuated from Hoshangabad over the last few days.
Reports claim that as many as 30 people have been killed in the floods in the last 3 days. Over 100 villages and 40,000 have been affected. As many as 24,000 homes have been destroyed. Roads and railways have also been affected, with track between Barbatpur and Magardoh washed away by flood water.
Heavy rainfall and high river levels in Madhya Pradesh mean that neighbouring state of Gujarat is now threatened with floods. The Narmada River at Bharuch was around 2.5 metres above danger levels.
Some flooding has already occurred in areas around Bharuch, including Katopor Bazar, Furja Road, Pirkanthi, Bhrugu Rushi Temple and Dandia Bazar. A flood warning has been issued for the numerous villages in the Bharuch, Narmada and Vadodara areas. Around 1,670 people living in low-lying areas of Bharuch, Ankleshwar and Jhagadia in Gujarat have been moved to higher ground due to the threat of flooding.
Sardar Sarovar Dam
The Sardar Sarovar Dam is a gravity dam on the Narmada River near Navagam, Gujarat. It has seen very high water levels since mid July. On Friday 23rd August levels reach a new record high of 129.07 metres which was expected to rise further.