India – Thousands Displaced by Floods in Rajasthan

Over 4,500 people have evacuated their homes after flooding in the Indian state of Rajasthan. The worst affected areas include the districts of Kota, Baran, Jhalawar and Dholpur.

Chambal river at the bridge in Sagarpada, Dholpur, Rajasthan, 16 September 2019. Photo: Office of Chief Minister Rajasthan

India’s National Emergency Response Centre (NERC) said that the southern part of the state has experienced torrential rainfall since 13 September 2019.

Heavy rain in the neighbouring state of Madhya Pradesh, where 45,000 people have been displaced by flooding, has also increased levels of rivers in Rajasthan, in particular the Chambal river. The Chambal river is at or above flood stage in Kota City and Mandawara in Kota district, as well as in Dholpur, Dholpur district.

In response to rising levels, authorities opened the flood gates of several dams in the state, including the Kota Barrage in Kota district. As of 16 September, Kota Barrage levels stood at 259.93metres, where the maximum 260.9 metres, according to India’s Central Water Commission.

Eight teams from India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), along with military personnel, have been deployed to affected areas.

Local media reported of people taking refuge on roofs to avoid the flood waters. Some have been without electricity and drinking water for several days. As many as 4,500 people have been rescued or evacuated but many are still reportedly stranded, waiting for assistance.

News Agency ANI reported that more than 350 students and 50 teachers were trapped in a school in Chittorgarh from 14 September, when floods blocked roads after the discharge of water from Rana Pratap Dam.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot visited affected areas of the state and undertook an aerial survey on 16 September.

According to NERC figures, so far in year’s monsoon 54 people have died and 4,822 houses have been damaged in Rajasthan. NERC said that rainfall in the has been 42% higher than normal for the monsoon season.

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