India – Thousands Evacuate Floods in Maharashtra and Gujarat

Thousands of people have been forced from their homes after rivers broke their banks in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, western India.


In Maharashtra, recent heavy rainfall in the state and river catchments in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, combined with dam releases caused flooding in Nagpur, Bhandara, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli and Godnia districts from 29 August 2020.

Levels of the Wainganga river jumped well above the danger mark in at least 2 locations in Bhandara district.

Teams from India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the Army, are engaged mostly in rescue and relief operations, mostly in Chandrapur and Bhandara districts.

Almost 100,000 people have been affected and 53,224 shifted to safer locations, including 27,091 from Nagpur, 18,192 from Bhandara, 5,667 from Chandrapur and 2,274 from Gadchiroli district.

As of 01 September, almost 4,000 people had moved to relief camps.


Meanwhile to the north, flooding also affected the neighbouring state of Gujarat.

Days of severe weather have seen several fatalities reported as a result of flooding or lightning strike since around 20 August.

The flood situation worsened after heavy rainfall from 29 August. In 24 hours to 31 August, Khambhalia in Devbhumi Dwarka district recorded 215 mm of rain while Gadhda in Botad district recorded 203mm.

According to India’s Disaster Management Division (DMD), the districts of Surat, Savarkantha, Rajkot, Patan, Narmada, Morbi, Jamnagar, Gir-Somnath, Devbhumi Dwarka, Botad, Bhavnagar, Bharuch and Amreli were all affected.

Almost 1,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed, with round 12,000 people displaced, according to DMD.

Many of those displaced were from areas along the Narmada river, which were evacuated following the release of water from the Sardar Sarovar Dam.

As of 01 September, the Narmada river at Bharuch stood at 10.6 metres, where the danger mark is 7.315 metres, according to India’s Central Water Commission. Meanwhile the Narmada at Garudeshwar in Narmada district reached 32.9 metres on 01 September, above the danger mark of 31.09 metres.

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