Monsoon Flooding Kills 79 in India


Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 22:15 PM EDT, 2 July 2012

Indian Flood Victims Fleeing, Photo by Joshua WieseGUWAHATI, India – The Brahmaputra River overflowed its banks killing at least 79 people. The river became engorged following torrential monsoon rains which have inundated the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Meghalaya.

Farmers depend upon the monsoon season which last from June to September to irrigate their plants. Unfortunately, this normally life-giving force has reaped untold destruction and death in its stead.

The extent of the devastation was compounded by the swathes of slums inhabited by most of the 2.2 million displaced victims. Many of these people lived in makeshift shanty towns in abodes constructed at best with corrugated steel and at worst with cardboard boxes. Most of the casualties were inhabitants who drowned while trying to escape flood water while others perished in mudslides.

According to news sources nearly 500,000 people have fled to relief camps with their meager belongings. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said “The central and state governments are doing everything possible to provide relief to the people. We have opened makeshift relief camps for the displaced, while many more were forced to take shelter on raised platforms and in tarpaulin tents.” (Source: Agence France-Presse)

In neighboring Bangladesh over 900,000 inhabitants have been displaced as a result of flooding and mudslides, and at last count the death toll has increased from 108 to 123. The government has also instituted emergency housing and relief efforts; however, unlike Assam state, the flood waters are reportedly receding.

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