India is reeling under heavy rains, once again. A spate of late monsoon rains across Northern and Western India has left multiple states underwater. Maharashtra, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh have been the most affected. More than a hundred people have already been killed, and several hundred are homeless. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), along with the appropriate state governments, have been carrying out rescue efforts throughout this weekend.
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A significant amount of retreating monsoon rains has flooded a large area of the country, bringing life to a standstill. The River Ganga has been flowing above the danger mark, with Eastern Uttar Pradesh being the worst hit.
“A spokeswoman for the Disaster Management and Relief Department, Sandhaya Kureel, said that … fatalities were caused by house collapses, lightning and drownings in Uttar Pradesh state. They included at least five people dying of snake bites in flooded areas.
The temple city of Varanasi was lashed by 19cm (7 inches) of rain on Thursday and Friday, flooding the bathing areas of the Ganges River used by thousands of Hindu pilgrims.
Schools were shut on Saturday as the downpour caused disruptions in the state capital, Lucknow, and several towns, including Amethi and Hardoi.”
Meanwhile, in Bihar, the situation is even worse. Most localities in the capital city of Patna are underwater, with prolonged power cuts and property damage. Boats have also been deployed on the streets to rescue stranded citizens.
“Heavy rain continues to batter Patna where three days of unprecedented downpour has flooded homes and hospitals, bringing life to a standstill for thousands of people. Three teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in the city and more rescue teams are expected to reach later in the day. Boats are out on roads for rescue operations.
Several state-run hospitals including the Nalanda Medical College and Hospital, which is one of the largest in Patna, are flooded. Videos shared on social media showed patients sitting on beds in flooded hospital rooms. To evacuate people, 32 boats have been pressed into service in flooded parts of the city.”
Monsoons have been particularly disastrous for Bihar this year, with the state succumbing to flooding after every brief spell of rains.
So, what now?
“While every monsoon season comes with its own set of variations, scientists highlight that extreme rainfall events are on the rise in the country on a long-term scale. There are longer dry spells, and more intense rainfall concentrated in fewer days.
This explains why Bihar was facing rain deficit of upto 20% until September 19. However, the current heavy rain spell brought down the rain deficit in the state to -2 %, as the monsoon season nears it closure.
Normally, monsoon begins to retreat around September 1. However, this year it is seeing a delay of over a month. At present, the overall monsoon remains excess to the tune of 9% over the entire country.”
Do consider donating to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund here, if you’re so inclined.
Climate change is real, y’all.