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Monday, 24 June 2013

India floods - June 2013

As of 24th June 2013, devastating rains and flooding cost the lives of around 1,000 people and led to some 8,000 people being rescued and 100,000 people evacuated in Northern India and Nepal.


  • What caused this major flood event?
  • What were the effects?
  • How can and have organisations and individuals responded?

CAUSES

BBC News - An unusually intensive fusion of two weather systems from opposite directions triggered this week's devastating floods in northern India and western Nepal, authorities have said.

They say the monsoon advancing towards the west of South Asia combined with westerly winds for an unusually long time and with an extraordinary intensity, which resulted in days of torrential rains.

For more, read on here

VIDEO - Monsoon rains arrived early and were more intense than usual: Watch for full explanation 

So how are monsoon rains caused? Watch this clip to find out more

Although the region experiences an increase in rainfall totals at this time of year, several factors combined to make the situation worse. Firstly, the monsoon season started early, whilst the amount of rain was higher than usual. In Uttarakhand, between the 1st and 19th June, 389 mm of rain fell. The average is 77.5 mm. In addition, a glacier ruptured under the pressure from the severe cloudburst, forcing ice and water down into the tributaries of the Ganges.

Some have blamed poor flood management for the scale of the disaster. More here 

Others have suggested that dam developments have led to flooding becoming worse

In addition to dam projects, a 300% boost in religious tourism has also been cited as a contributing factor. Read more here



EFFECTS

Around 1000 people died after the most intense monsoon rains to hit India and Nepal in 80 years. Thousands of homes were washed away, whilst thousands of people were rescued after becoming trapped by the raging flood water

Flash flooding triggered landslides, washing away roads and bridges whilst the remoteness of the areas affected, made rescuing those affected more difficult. Find out more here

Many left stranded by the flood water:


Nepal flooding leaves many homeless:


Many forced to flee their homes and head to crowded and under-resourced refugee camps:


As local people return home, they find devastating results:


SPECIAL REPORT: 30 minute programme from IBN Live covering the story as it unfolded. Plus looking at the challenges that lie ahead:



Northern India braced itself for further floods during what is believed to be the heaviest monsoon rains for 80 years. VIDEO REPORT

Many blamed dam construction, housing developments and other infrastructure projects for causing the disaster:



COPING WITH THE FLOODS

Hazard mapping (GIS)




The Google Crisis Response team opened up a crisis map to assist in the rescue and relief efforts in India — a Crisis Map for Uttarakhand.

Flood mapping:
India will soon begin inundation mapping of its flood-prone areas — the existence of such a protocol could have mitigated the extent of the Uttarakhand disaster — but the exercise will be complete only by 2022, a senior official has said. Find out more here 

Aid:  
$150,000 given by USA for relief work in the flood-ravaged state of Uttarakhand. The aid would be given through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to NGOs working in the badly hit areas of the hill state.

Adapting homes:
People who live in the region are used to flooding. Many people have learnt to adapt to the expected floods during the Monsoon season. See what they do to prepare in Bangladesh here 

Rescue efforts:
Although the army and air force were mobilised in an attempt to rescue people from remote areas, continuing bad weather hampered rescue missions. Mass cremations had to be halted which meant that bodies that had been piled were starting to decompose. Read more here


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