Torrential Rains And Severe Flooding Take India, Nepal And Bangladesh By Storm

Crossing through flood water in Tilathi, Nepal, last week. Credit Prakash Mathema/Agence France-Presse

While the world grieved over Hurricane Harvey and looming Hurricane Irma, another natural disaster shook some parts of the continent of Asia. In India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, 1200 deaths have been reported due to prolonged weeks of unusual torrential monsoon rains. According to a report published in the United Nations, around 41 million people have been affected in these three countries.

Floods in Mumbai led to thigh-high water on the streets on Tuesday. Credit Shailesh Andrade/Reuters

According to reports published by New York Times, thousands of homes stand destroyed in Nepal and desperate attempts to save landlocked victims are being carried out. While elephants are being used to rescue victims, rafts from bamboo and banana leaves are being constructed by activists in a desperate bid to transport the victims to safety. Despite all efforts by activists, aid organizations and the government, a large number of people remain missing. This has coerced many families over the country of Nepal to conduct the last rites of their loved ones without their bodies.

Floods covered the streets last week in Agartala, the capital of Tripura State in India. Credit Arindam Dey/Agence France-Presse

What makes matters significantly worse is the worst hit are those denuded areas in Nepal that are situated in the poorest parts of the country. Farms are completely underwater and a large number of people are staying in plastic tarps in camps that have been constructed for displaced people. The cramped conditions of living coupled with poor levels of sanitation and hygiene are resulting in an outbreak of various diseases that exposes the entire population of Nepal at a big risk.

Bangladeshi commuters use a rickshaw to cross a flooded street amid heavy rainfall in Dhaka on July 26, 2017. Credit Munir Uz Zaman/Agence France-Presse

In India, the worst flood hit areas include Assam, Odisha, Bihar and West Bengal. In the last week, 400 deaths have been reported in the state of Bihar. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet swung into action soon after and promised millions of rupees to assist the flood hit victims. He also urged insurance companies to send assessors to help farmers and re-valuate properties in exchange of relief.

The largest metropolis of India, Mumbai, was paralyzed by incessant rains. Schools and colleges had to be closed and the transport system was in a chaos. In certain areas of the city, the water level is up to five feet high and the city’s transport has been paralyzed besides ground floors of building being completely water-logged.

Flood-affected people sleeping by a highway toll plaza in the Indian state of Bihar last week. Credit Aftab Alam Siddiqui/Associated Press

Bangladesh reported 134 deaths and huge destructions. 700,000 homes were instantly destroyed and one-third of the country has been paralyzed due to the incessant rains. Francis Markus, a spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said, “This is the severest flooding in a number of years. “Experts believe that the trend of climate change has multiplied the violent strength of natural disasters in Southeast Asia, Houston and Texas.

In an interview with the CNN, Reaz Ahmed, the director general of Bangladesh’s Department of Disaster Management stated, “This is not normal … Floods this year were bigger and more intense than the previous years.”

A large population of the three affected countries live below the poverty line and the incurrence of natural disasters leaves them unarmed to handle and recover from damages caused every year.

via NY Times