India: Monsoon Rains and Floods Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) Operation Update n° 1 DREF n° MDRIN024

Situation Report
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Description of the disaster

Rainfall and widespread flooding due to the southwest monsoon continue to affect several states of India. The extended monsoon has left a trail of devastation and the death toll has reached more than 1,600 across 14 states. As of 25 September 2019, 338 people lost their lives in Maharashtra, 223 in West Bengal, 181 in Kerala, 170 in Madhya Pradesh, 150 in Gujarat, 130 in Bihar, 105 in Karnataka, 96 in Assam, 69 in Uttarakhand, 58 in Rajasthan, 52 in Himachal Pradesh, 18 in Punjab, 14 in Uttar Pradesh, and 10 in Odisha1.There has been no official statistics available on the extent of the economic damages caused by the widespread flooding. An assessment made by the disaster management division of the Union Home Ministry indicates that over 2.2 million people have been evacuated so far and 8,700 relief camps set up across these states to provide temporary shelter to the displaced population2 .

As incessant monsoon rains wreak havoc across parts of India, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have been reeling under floods recently. More than 100 people have died since 27 September following incessant rains3. The extended southwest monsoon over the Indian subcontinent has not only caused devastation in several places in the country but has also broken some old records and set new ones. In the current monsoon season, India receives highest ever rainfall recorded in the last 25 years, and with Mumbai breaking the 61-year record.

In Maharashtra, the monsoon has brought copious rains with its late onslaught. Mumbai has received 3,669.6 mm rainfall so far this season - the highest in 61 years - as against its normal quota of 2,350 mm. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted rain and thunder showers at many places in eastern Uttar Pradesh and heavy rain at isolated places over the western region on early October. In Ballia, authorities had to shift about 900 prisoners to other jails after flood waters entered the barracks of the district jail located near the Ganga River. The weather department has forecasted a long-delayed withdrawal of Monsoon and more rains for Bihar, including capital Patna where several areas still remain submerged, and food and relief material are being air dropped. In Patna, normal life was thrown out of gear, with several schools shut, roads inundated, and many shops, hospitals and houses submerged in knee deep waters.

More than 4,000 people, including women and children, were rescued from the flood-affected areas of Patna on Monday, 30 September as per NDRF report. The force said it has deployed five teams, with about 45 personnel in each, to conduct rescue and relief works in the city. An Indian Air Force helicopter commenced air-dropping of food and other relief materials to people living in low-lying areas where water level is said to be several feet high.

Rain bearing winds remain active over several parts of the country. Rainfall received so far is 10 per cent more than the normal, which is highest in the last 25 years. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) classified it 'above normal'. The following table summarized the impact of floods in states where the DREF operation is involved.

The retreating monsoon season has caused havoc and destruction in many parts of the affected states. As of 30 September, the situation remains critical in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh as compared to the other affected states5.