1,400 died across India due to rain-related incidents and floods in three months
The Union home ministry’s National Emergency Response Centre said on Monday that 1400 people have died from rain and flood related causes since May 28, a number that is almost as high as the 1480 and the 1420 deaths due to such causes in all of 2015 and 2016, making this year’s monsoon one of the most destructive in recent years.
The Kerala floods alone accounted for 488 deaths.
Between August 8 and 28, flash floods ravaged all but two of the state’s 14 districts and led more than a million people to seek shelter at relief camps. According to chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the state has suffered estimated financial losses of ₹19,500 crore.
Uttar Pradesh recorded the second-highest number of fatalities at 254. On Monday, 10 people died in Uttar Pradesh and 13 were killed in Uttarakhand.
The statistics include fatalities due to drowning, landslides, fallen houses and lightning strikes since May 28, when monsoon made landfall in Kerala.
Last year, 2,015 people died due to rain, flood and landslide. Bihar recorded the highest number of deaths – more than 500 – due to floods, according to figures disclosed in parliament in March.
On Monday, the casualties in UP were due to lightning strike and building collapse across five districts – Jhansi , Etawah, Firozbad, Raebareli, Auraiya and Shamli – which have been hit by heavy rain since late last week. The deaths in Uttarakhand were of passengers travelling on a vehicle that fell into a gorge after being hit by a landslide.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a release that weather in northern India is under the influence of three cyclonic circulations – over Haryana and adjoining Punjab, central-south Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring north Madhya Pradesh, and north-east Jharkhand.
Heavy rainfall in these regions and adjoining states will continue for the next two-to-three days, the IMD said.
On Sunday, around 180 tourists were evacuated from Mussoorie’s famous Kempty Falls after heavy rain made water from the 40-foot fall spill onto the main road.
West Bengal recorded the third highest number of deaths at 210 in West Bengal, while in Karnataka, 170 died. Maharashtra was the fifth state with more than 100 fatalities.
Forty-three people have been missing – 15 in Kerala, 14 in Uttar Pradesh, five in West Bengal, six in Uttarakhand and three in Karnataka, while 386 have been injured in rain-related incidents in the 10 states.
In Assam, 11.47 lakh people have borne the brunt of the rains and floods, which have also hit crops on 27,964 hectares of land. In West Bengal, the deluges have hit 2.28 lakh people and damaged crops on 48,552 hectares of land.
According to data presented by the water resources ministry in Rajya Sabha in March this year, between 1953 and 2017, as many as 1,07,487 people have lost their lives due to floods and heavy rains, also leading to overall loss on account of damages to crops, houses and public utilities to the tune of ₹3,65,860 crore.
The data has been compiled by the Central Water Commission (CWC) on the basis of figures provided by the states. The government clarified that the figures for years between 2013 and 2017 were tentative.
(With agency inputs)