India – Floods in 5 States Leave Over 80 Dead

In a statement made yesterday, the Indian Ministry for Home Affairs said that at least 86 people have died in flood-related incidents in India over the last few days.

Further heavy monsoon rainfall in the northern and western areas has affected the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Meanwhile in the east, the states of West Bengal, Odisha and Manipur have all been affected by heavy rain in the last 7 days, some of which was influenced by cyclone Komen.  During the last few days, fatalities have been reported in Rajasthan (12), West Bengal (48), Odisha (5) and Manipur (21).

Gujarat

Currently there are 14 districts with a total population of about 4 million people affected by floods due to recent heavy rainfall in Gujarat. Seventeen NDRF teams have been deployed for rescue and relief operations in Gujarat, and food packages have been distributed by air to the affected areas.

Gujarat was first hit by flooding brought by this year’s monsoon in late June 2015, when dozens of people lost their lives. At the time, the death of several Asiatic lions particularly caught the attention of the world’s media.

Floods struck again in the state after heavy monsoon rainfall in late July. Between 23 and 28 July, the city of Rajkot saw a total of 423.2 mm of rain. Around 22 people died in the floods during that time, with the worst affected districts being Banaskantha (four deaths), Patan, Rajkot and Kutch (three deaths each).

Air rescue and relief drop by Indian Air Force in Patan district Gujarat.  Photo: Indian MoD
Air rescue and relief drop by Indian Air Force in Patan district Gujarat. Photo: Indian MoD

Rajasthan

Flooding has affected the state since late July 2015. A total of 28 flood-related deaths have been reported in Rajasthan, 12 of which have occurred in the last few days, according to Indian Home Ministry statement. The districts of Jalore, Jhalawar, Baran, Sirohi, Barmer and Dungarpur are the worst affected.

Rescue workers, including personnel from the State Disaster Response Force, police, and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are all working in the affected areas. Indian Ministry for Home Affairs report that 630 people had to be rescued from rising flood water. Full assessments of the damage are yet to be carried out.

WMO report that the city of Bikaner saw 363.5 mm of rain in 24 hours to 02 August 2015.

Odisha

The flood situation in Odisha has worsened further since the three rivers – Subarnarekha, Budhabalang and Baitarani – overflowed between 28 and 30 July 2015 as a result of heavy rainfall in Odisha and catchment areas including Jharkhand

By 30 July, 2 people had died and flooding affected 240,000 people across 282 villages in the 5 districts of Keonjhar, Jajpur, Mayurbhanj, Balasore and Bhadrak.

As of yesterday flooding has been reported in seven districts; Jajpur, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Bhadrak, Balasore, Jharsuguda and Deogarh. Indian Home Ministry say that over 480,000 people are affected across 644 villages. Local disaster management authorities have evacuated 1,574 people. Five people have lost their lives as a result of the floods.

According to WMO, Jharsuguda saw 202 mm of rain in 24 hours between 02 and 03 august 2015.

West Bengal

In West Bengal, 48 deaths have been reported as a result of flood and severe weather related incidents such as drowning, electrocution, building collapse and snake bite.

Ministry of Home Affairs, Disaster Management Division, quoting state government figures, report that as many as 38,000 homes have been “fully damaged” in the cyclone and ensuing floods and over 200,000 “partially damaged”.

Cyclone Komen dumped huge amounts of rainfall across many southern districts of the state. Nearly 10,000 villages in 12 districts in total have been affected. Local authorities say that 200,000 people have been evacuated to safer areas and are currently housed in 1,537 relief camps set up by local disaster management authorities. The state government has deployed 121 boats for rescue and relief operations.

Manipur

On Saturday 01 August 2015, 20 people were killed after heavy rain triggered a landslide in the north-eastern state of Manipur, which buried all 12 houses of the village of Joumul village in Chandel district. There are fears the death toll could rise once all rescue and damage assessment work has been carried out.

Yesterday, Ministry of Home Affairs, Disaster Management Division, said “Two teams of NDRF have been earmarked for rescue and relief operations in Village Joumol. Of these one team comprising of 22 rescuers have been airlifted in the morning while the other team is likely to reach by late evening”.

One other flood-related death has been reported in the state since then after the Sekmai river overflowed in Thoubal district.

Indian army troops carrying out rescue and relief ops in flood affected areas of Ramgarh, Tharad and Deodar in Gujarat. Photo: India MoD
Indian army troops carrying out rescue and relief ops in flood affected areas of Ramgarh, Tharad and Deodar in Gujarat. Photo: India MoD