Helicopter deployed by Indian Air Force for rescue
|Date||June – July 2017|
|Location||Gujarat and Rajasthan, India|
|Deaths||At least 224 + 16 (1 June 2017 – 31 July 2017)|
Following heavy rain in July 2017, the Indian state of Gujarat was affected by severe flooding. The floods were reported to have caused total 224 deaths between 1 June and 31 July 2017. 16 people had died in neighbouring Rajasthan state by 31 July.
The monsoon season in Gujarat typically starts in mid-June. In the 2017 season low pressure systems developed over the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal simultaneously, resulting in heavy rainfall. Moderate rain began across the state on 14 July, and heavy rains fell from 21 to 25 July.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department data, between July 1 and 28, Gujarat received 559.4 mm of rainfall, as against the average of 339.6 mm for the said period, representing an excess of 65%. The districts of Banaskantha, Patan, Gandhinagar, Morbi, Surendranagar, Mehsana and Sabarkantha received 267%, 208%, 189%, 174%, 172%, 130% and 115% respectively of their average rainfall for the same period. The districts in north Gujarat received more than 200 mm of rainfall in 24 hours on 24 July.Dhanera recorded 235 mm rainfall in six hours on 24 July resulting in severe flooding. Deesa recorded 269 mm rain while Idar recorded 151 mm on 25 July. Sabarkantha received highest rains in Gujarat at 219 mm, followed by Banaskantha with 150 mm. It was close to the heaviest rainfall in 112 years in the affected region.
As of 1 August, at least 224 people had died in floods in Gujarat since 1 June due to rain-related causes. Among them, 61 deaths were recorded in Banaskantha, 18 in Ahmedabad, 14 in Surendranagar, 11 in Chhota Udaipur, 10 in Surat district. As of 31 July, 16 people had died in neighbouring Rajasthan state. More than 4,000 cattle died in Banaskantha district. The electricity supply to 753 villages were cut off. The road and rail transport were also affected. Over 370 roads, including six National Highways, and 153 State Highways and 674 Panchayat roads were flooded and closed for vehicular traffic. The damage is assessed at ₹ 10 crore for National Highways and ₹ 26 crore for State Highways. 11 out of 20 trains operating between Mumbai-Delhi were cancelled due to damage to tracks near Palanpur. 915 GSRTC bus trips were cancelled in northern districts. There was breach in Narmada Canal near Thara, Gujarat in Banaskantha. The runway of Ahmedabad airport was damaged and two Air India flights were diverted. As of 26 July, of the 203 dams and reservoirs in state, 38 were full, 19 were filled to between 80–90% of their capacity, 15 to between 70%–80% and 130 were filled to less than 70% capacity. 25% of Kharif crop sowing in Gujarat, especially and Saurashtra and north Gujarat was lost.
Relief and rescue
More than 113,000 people were evacuated to safety and more than 17,000 of them were rescued with the help of the Indian Army, Indian Air Force (IAF), the Border Security Force (BSF), the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF). Ten IAF helicopters, five Army columns, 18 BSF teams and 32 teams from the NDRF, 11 teams from the SDRF and the local teams were deployed for rescue and relief operations. Over 2,000,000 food packets were distributed in affected districts in north Gujarat. 12,000 people were moved to safety and at least 100 people were rescued in Rajasthan. 90 relief camps were set up for affected people. The electricity supply was restored in 700 villages. More than 1,500 sanitation workers were deployed in Banaskantha and Patan districts to prevent outbreaks. And more than 10,400 carcasses were disposed.
Around 2 lakhcusecs (5,700 m3/s) of water was released from Dantiwada Dam on the West Banas River due to heavy inflow from Rajasthan. Dharoi Dam also released water 1.3 lakh cusec (3,700 m3/s) of water in Sabarmati River, thus submerging the lower promenade of Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad. Vasna Barrage was open to release water from the river.
The Government of India announced an interim relief package of ₹ 500 crore. It is also announced that ex gratia of ₹ 200,000 be given to the next of kin of the deceased and ₹ 50,000 to people seriously injured in the floods.
- ^ abc"અતિવૃષ્ટિનો કેર: ગુજરાતમાં ૨૨૪નાં મૃત્યુ, બનાસકાંઠામાં સૌથી વધુ ૬૧" [Flood terror: 224 died in Gujarat, highest in Banaskantha at 61]. Gujarat Samachar (in Gujarati) (Ahmedabad ed.). 2017-08-02. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2017-08-02. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
- ^ abc"Flood fury in 4 states: Rescue operations underway, says PM Modi; Gujarat CM Rupani to camp in Banaskantha". India Today. 2017-07-30. Retrieved 2017-07-31.
- ^ abFrance-Presse, Agence (2017-07-31). "India floods: 213 killed in Gujarat as receding waters reveal more victims". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-07-31.
- ^Chari, Mridula. "An unusual weather phenomenon explains why eastern and western India are flooding". Scroll.in. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
- ^ abcUmarji, Vinay (2017-07-29). "A rare phenomenon caused Gujarat floods". Business Standard India. Retrieved 2017-07-31.
- ^ abcd"PM rushes to Gujarat, announces relief package of Rs 500 crore". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
- ^ ab"Floods wreak havoc in Gujarat, Rajasthan; Narendra Modi inspects home state as Assam recovers". Firstpost. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
- ^"Monsoon Forecast for Jul 26, 2017: Heavy Monsoon rains in Gujarat, Rajasthan, WB; Rains in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai". Skymet Weather Services. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
- ^ ab"Floods wreck havoc in several parts of country; PM Modi visits Gujarat, announces Rs 2 lakh for kin of those killed". The Indian Express. 25 July 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
- ^ abcd"Death toll in Gujarat floods reaches 111". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
- ^"૩૧ જુલાઈ:૨૦૧૬માં માત્ર ૩૨ ટકા ૨૦૧૭માં ૮૦ ટકાથી વધુ વરસાદ" [31 July: Just 32% rain in 2016, 80% in 2017]. Gujarat Samachar (in Gujarati). Archived from the original on 2017-08-01. Retrieved 2017-08-01.
- ^ abcdef"Gujarat floods: How the deluge crippled the state". The Indian Express. 2017-07-31. Retrieved 2017-08-01.
- ^"Flood crisis deepens in Gujarat, Rajasthan; PM Modi inspects home state". Hindustan Times. 25 July 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
- ^"Gujarat floods death toll mounts to 213, over 80,000 relocated". Retrieved 2017-08-01.
- ^"Gujarat floods: Ahmedabad Airport runway damaged, two Air India flights diverted". The Financial Express. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
- ^Umarji, Vinay (2017-07-27). "Torrential rain, flood damage 25% kharif sowing in Gujarat". Business Standard India. Retrieved 2017-07-31.
- ^ ab"Gujarat flood: 20 lakh food packets distributed, 90 camps set up for affected people, says Smriti Irani". The Financial Express. 2017-07-31. Retrieved 2017-08-01.
- ^"9 die in Gujarat floods, toll 83; PM announces Rs 500 crore aid". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
- ^"Gujarat flood 2017: RSS appeals for donation to help affected people". Financial Express. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
Flooded north Bihar, India
|Date||18 August 2008|
|Location||northern Bihar, India, and Nepal|
|Deaths||434 (Dead bodies were found until 27 November 2008)|
The 2008 Bihar flood was one of the most disastrous floods in the history of Bihar, an impoverished and densely populated state in India. The Kosi embankment near the Indo-Nepal border (at Kusaha VDC, Sunsari district, Nepal) broke on 18 August 2008. The river changed course and flooded areas which had not been flooded in many decades. The flood affected over 2.3 million people in the northern part of Bihar.
See also: Kosi embankment
On 18 August 2008, heavy monsoon rains and poor maintenance caused a breach in the Kosi embankment. Water passed through the breach at an estimated 129,800 m³/second, flooding many villages in Nepal and hundreds of villages in northern Bihar. The flood submerged most of the Kosi alluvial fan area, which is very fertile, with a dense agrarian population.
The Kosi River's upper basin in southern Tibet and eastern Nepal drains some 60,000 km² of mountainous terrain, a region that tectonic forces are elevating by about 1 cm a year. If erosion keeps pace with geologic uplift, an estimated 600 million cubic meters of sediment would be carried downstream in an average year. However, empirical measurements of the river's sediment load have yielded estimates of 100 million cubic meters annually, indicating that the area is rising.
River gradient ranges from more than 10 meters/km for major upper tributaries in the mountains to as little as 6 cm/km as the lower Kosi nears the Ganges. As the gradient decreases on the plains, current slows and turbulence that holds sediments in suspension diminishes. Sediments settle out and are deposited on the riverbed. This process eventually raises a channel above the surrounding terrain. The river breaks out, seeking lower terrain, which it again proceeds to elevate by deposition. This creates a cone-shaped alluvial fan. The Kosi alluvial fan is one of the largest in the world, covering some 15,000 km² and extending 180 km from the outermost foothills of the Himalayas to the Ganges river valley.
Flood waters naturally spread out over the surface of this cone. Flows over 25,000 m³/s have been measured where the Kosi exits the Himalayan foothills, enough to create a flow of water 30 km wide. At this rate, in one week enough water would accumulate to cover the entire megafan to a depth of 1.5 meters.
Preventative flood control measures include upstream reservoirs that can also serve irrigation needs and produce hydroelectric power. However, in Nepal these are mostly in the planning stages. The flood control measures mainly consist of downstream embankments meant to confine the river to a fixed channel. In theory, the faster flow along this channel would carry high flows away and keep sediments in suspension.
On 18 August 2008 one of the man-made embankments failed. The river reverted from the prescribed western channel to an old channel near the centre of its alluvial fan. The river spread out widely and flooded towns, villages, and cultivated fields on the densely populated alluvial fan. Recurrent flooding on the lower Kosi contributes largely to India's history of suffering more flood deaths than any other country except Bangladesh, and has earned the Kosi the epithet "The Sorrow of Bihar".
Flooding occurred throughout the Kosi River valley in northern Bihar, in the districts of Supaul, Araria, Saharsa, Madhepura, Bhagalpur, West Champaran and Purnea.
The flood killed 250 people and forced nearly 3 million people from their homes in Bihar. More than 300,000 houses were destroyed and at least 340,000 hectares (840,000 acres) of crops were damaged. Villagers in Bihar ate raw rice and flour mixed with polluted water. Hunger and disease were widespread. The Supaul district was the worst-hit; surging waters swamped 1,000 square kilometres (247,000 acres) of farmlands, destroying crops.
It affected six districts in Nepal. Approximately 53,800 Nepalese (11,572 households) were affected by the Koshi floods in Sunsari District, according to the Government of Nepal (GoN). Koshi Wildlife Reserve along the Koshi river was severely impacted by the floods including its wildlife and biodiversity.
Satellite image of flood waters in Bihar as of 31 August 2008; Image:UNOSAT
Relief and Rehabilitation Work
In response to the disaster, widely reported as the region's worst flood in 50 years, Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar, met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to seek his help in dealing with the "catastrophe".
The Prime Minister declared a "natural calamity" on 28 August and earmarked US$230 million in aid for the region. Rescue operations were carried out by the Indian Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and non-government organisations. Indian Air Force helicopters dropped relief supplies in the worst-hit districts. Mumbai Fire Brigade sent a 22-member disaster management team to help in relief work.
Chief Minister Kumar requested a rehabilitation package of Rs 145 billion from the central government for the flood ravaged Kosi region.
The Bihar government returned funds from Gujarat for relief work because of purported differences with the Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi.
On 1 September, describing the floods as a "disaster," the Dalai Lama gave 1,000,000 rupees to the Bihar government for relief work.
The Government of Bihar initiated Kosi Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Programme covering 30,000 affected families in Saharsa, Supaul and Madhepura district based on a pilot project implemented by ODR Collaborative, a network of organisations, supporting the Government and an owner driven reconstruction policy was formulated to support each family with Rs. 55,000 to construct their own house. After signing an agreement with the World Bank in January 2011, this programme has been upscaled to cover 100,000 families for reconstruction of hazard safe houses. The cost per house will be Rs. 55,000 ($1200) with an additional cost of Rs. 2,300 ($50) for a toilet and Rs. 5,000 ($110) for solar powered lighting. In cases where beneficiaries do not own land, the Government of Bihar will provide additional assistance of Rs. 5000 ($110) for the people to buy the land. Towards this project, the World Bank is contributing $220 million. The Government of Bihar has also partnered with ODR Collaborative and UNDP to continue the social and technical facilitation and capacity building for this 'owner driven reconstruction' programme. Technical guidelines have been brought out to enable owners to build houses with various local materials including bamboo.
The rehabilitation work has been incredibly slow. Out of a total 100,000 houses to be built by the Government in the Kosi region comprising Madhepura, Saharsa and Supaul districts, only 12,500 were built till February 2014.
Fax messages sent by engineers at the Kosi dam warning the state government of the impending disaster went unheeded as the official authorised to respond was on leave. Consequently, many residents waiting for evacuation instructions never received warning of the flood. Nitish Mishra, Bihar's disaster management minister, said, "There should definitely be some accountability," and that action would be taken.
Bihar Government appointed a one-man inquiry commission, headed by Justice Rajesh Walia, former chief justice of Patna High Court, to probe the cause of the embankment breach. It was asked to examine all aspects related to the efforts to maintain the utility of the Kosi project since its inception in 1953 – particularly after a major landslide in 1979 pushed the Kosi towards its eastern bund – and a breach in 1991. The Commission submitted its report in March 2014.
- ^A report by the Department of disaster management, Government of Bihar
- ^A Dalit watch report on the flood camps in BiharArchived 14 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- ^ ab"Half of Bihar under water, 30 lakh suffer;". CNN IBN. 9 January 2008. Archived from the original on 3 September 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
- ^UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: (2 October 2008). "Nepal: Koshi Flood – OCHA Saptari Situation Report, 02 Oct 2008 – Nepal | ReliefWeb". Reliefweb.int.
- ^"Kattelman, Richard (1991) Hydrological Regime of the Sapt Kosi Basin, Nepal"(PDF). Iahs.info.
- ^"Xu, Liu, Song, Jiang & Shi, GPS measurements of present-day uplift in the Southern Tibet"(PDF).
- ^"Srivastava, Ajay. Tectonic Zonation using Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) Techniques: A case study of Kosi Fan, India". Gisdevelopment.net.
- ^Sharad Jain, Pushpendra Agarwal, Vijay Singh (2007) Hydrology and Water Resources of India. (Netherlands:Springer).
- ^"Dedow, Ralf. Megafans in younger orogens"(PDF).
- ^"Chapter 4: Plate F-19 – GES DISC". Disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov.
- ^"Nayak, Jit Narayan (1996) Sediment management of the Kosi River basin in Nepal"(PDF). Iahs.info.
- ^"The Sorrow of Bihar : Kosi River | Madhesi – United We Stand". Madhesi.wordpress.com. 29 October 2008.
- ^SITUATION REPORT BIHAR FLOODS 2008Archived 3 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- ^Michael Coggan in New Delhi (29 August 2008). "Death toll rises from Indian floods – Just In – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au.
- ^Michael Coggan in New Delhi (29 August 2008). "abc.net.au, Death toll rises from Indian floods". Abc.net.au.
- ^Kataria, Sunil (30 August 2008). "reuters.com, Bihar villagers desperate as floods spread". In.reuters.com.
- ^"WWF – Biodiversity assessment of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve following the 2008 floods". Wwf.panda.org. 10 April 2009.
- ^UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: (13 May 2009). "Nepal: OCHA Koshi Flood Response Update 13 May 2009 – Nepal | ReliefWeb". Reliefweb.int.
- ^"Biodiversity of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve: a post flood assessment | Khatri | Journal of Wetlands Ecology". Nepjol.info. 18 August 2008.
- ^"ICIMOD Digital Photo Contest – Water and Life | Susheel K Shrestha". Icimod.org.
- ^"Bihar flood 'catastrophe'; CM seeks Govt's help". CNN IBN. 26 August 2008. Archived from the original on 1 September 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2008.
- ^nytimes.com, Floods in India May Displace Millions
- ^"Nitish seeks speedy release of rehab package for Kosi region". Zeenews.com.
- ^"Nitish returns flood aid, BJP hits back at him". IBN Live. 20 June 2010. Archived from the original on 4 November 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- ^"Dalai Lama offers prayers and donation for Bihar flood victims". Phayul.com.
- ^"India Home". Worldbank.org.in. 28 March 2014.
- ^"2008 Kosi Flood Victims in Bihar still await Rehabilitation". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- ^"'Floods have pushed Bihar back by 50 years'". September 3, 2008. Archived from the original on 22 October 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
- ^"Kosi Flood 2008: Justice Walia Commission submits probe report". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 28 March 2014.