Rain fury toll increases to 680
At least 13 people were killed in rain-related incidents in the past 24 hours as heavy downpour continued to pound various parts of the country, data released by the Union home ministry said on Wednesday.
More than 680 people have died since June 1, when the monsoon officially arrived in the country, it added.
While large-scale flooding displaced thousands of people in Assam, Bihar and some parts of West Bengal, landslides triggered by heavy rain continued to wreak havoc in parts of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
The ministry’s report on the flood situation said that 22 districts of Assam, 36 of Bihar, 12 of Uttar Pradesh and two each of West Bengal and Jharkhand were affected due to rise in water level in several rivers. About 1.5 million people in these states have been affected due to the floods in the past 48 hours alone, the report added.
Data released by the disaster management departments of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand said the two states recorded more landslides this year when compared to previous years, even though rainfall has been lower. Although rainfall in Uttarakhand was deficient by around 5% this year, the state reported a 32% increase in landslides, as per data from the state public works department. Over 135 people have been killed in over 1,200 incidents such as landslides and boulder falls, or were washed away in swollen rivers this year.
Himachal, which reported 44% deficit in August, reported a 60% increase in landslides this year, according to the state disaster management authority. About 150 deaths were reported from the state so far this rainy season.
Assam is witnessing floods despite less than normal rainfall. “For the month of August, the state received 296.3 mm rainfall against the normal of 347.1 mm,” Sumit Das, senior scientist at Guwahati-based regional meteorological office, said. Till August-end, Bihar received 801.9 mm of rain as compared to the normal of 1,027 mm, even as 32 of the total 40 districts remained flooded, displacing over a million people. While half of Odisha is witnessing drought-like conditions, the two neighbouring states of West Bengal and Jharkhand recorded flooding in some districts. Both the states have received up to 8% excess rain, which is considered normal.
With inputs from other state bureaus