Fifty dead in floods, landslides across Northern, Eastern India

Friday, August 26, 2022

At least 50 people in Northern and Eastern India have been reported dead since Friday because of landslides and flash floods caused by monsoon rains, which had already been projected to be heavy this year by the Indian Meteorological Department, the national weather office of India. These disasters have been ravaging the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Odisha, leaving thousands affected in these states.

According to a press release by Himachal Pradesh's state government, at least 36 people have been killed because of flash floods and landslides. These landslides have especially affected towns like Dharamshala, Kangra, and Mandi, where landslides and floods have destroyed and flooded roads, highways and bridges.

Natural disasters also affected the nearby state of Uttarakhand, where an official government release, on August 21, 2022 stated that four people had died, and thirteen more have gone missing due to a series of cloudbursts across the entire state. Ranjit Kumar Sinha, an official in Uttarakhand's disaster management department, has said, "We have deployed choppers to rescue people who are stuck in remote areas due to rain related incidents. The rescue operation is happening on full swing."

Floods have also affected the coastal state of Odisha in Eastern India where floods have killed at least 6 people and affected thousands. Floods have been much more disastrous in Odisha, with nearly 800,000 people affected and many forced to leave their homes. These floods have affected basic amenities too, like electricity, water supply and road infrastructure. The government of Odisha has evacuated around 120,000 people due to the floods.

The floods have also affected the Ramgarh district in the state of Jharkhand, where five people have been swept away by the flooded Nankari river. According to Madhvi Mishra, a district official, four bodies have been recovered so far.

Landslides and floods like these are common in India during the monsoon season, and scientists say that these have only become more frequent and more severe as nearby Himalayan glaciers are melting due to climate change.