Monsoon flooding affects millions

Tuesday 27th Sep 2011 by theWeather Club

More than two million people in India have had their lives disrupted by floods as the torrential monsoon rains that have lashed the states of Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar continue to take their toll. More than 80 people have died in flood-related incidents, and many areas have been cut off by rising waters. Heavy rains in Uttar Pradesh have killed more than 30 people across the state, and a flood alert has been issued in eight districts in Bihar. In Orissa, the worst affected state, 10 districts have been inundated by flood waters, officials say. Special Relief Commissioner PK Mohapatra said 55 people had died from several causes such as drowning, snakebites and collapsing walls.

Local officials have said that the water levels of two major rivers in Uttar Pradesh - the Ganges and Gomti - are on the rise. Other rivers in the region are also full, but so far remain below the danger mark. In neighbouring Bihar state, authorities have sounded a flood alert in eight districts, including the capital, Patna, after heavy rains led to a rise in the water levels on Ganges and Sone rivers. Rivers are also bursting their banks after a large amount of water was released from the Indrapuri barrage, the largest since 1975 according to local officials.

Some areas have been cut off because of breaches to river banks and embankments. Helicopters are the only way to bring food and water to people stranded in numerous areas. Officials said that more than 130,000 in Orissa alone have been evacuated to safety as the relief and rescue operation moves into full swing. Hundreds of thousands of people in the state are reported to be taking refuge in trees or on the tops of buildings as flood waters continue to rise. Relief Commissioner KK Sinha said that many of the casualties had died in their sleep when the roofs of their mud houses collapsed.