Hundreds Dead, a Million Displaced as Monsoon Rains Inundate India

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Look at all that water.
Look at all that water.
Photo: AP

As necessary as the monsoon rains may be for farmers in India, the season can be fraught with death and destruction. This year’s monsoon rains have been falling seemingly nonstop in parts of India since June, and now more than 1 million people are displaced in southern and western states with more than 200 dead.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has been documenting the ongoing disaster since June and issued an update earlier this week. This year’s monsoon season—which runs from June to September—brought the worst rains Mumbai had seen in 14 years last month.

Heavy rain continued last week. During this week of nonstop rains, the India Meteorological Department recorded an average of 3.5 inches of rain across the country, a 45 percent increase from what the country usually sees this time of year. Some places saw much more, with more than double the weekly average falling over the central and south portions of the country.


Intense flooding and landslides have left about 36,000 houses ruined across the affected states. In response, authorities issued 147 National Disaster Response Force teams to affected states, which include Maharashtra, Bihar, and Kerala in the southwest and northeast. Areas have lost power and access to safe drinking water, reports Al Jazeera. At least one politician has pledged to give 10,000 Indian Rupees (which translates to roughly $140) to all affected residents in the state of Kerala, according to the Indian Express.

India Meteorological Department’s forecast for the coming week shows that weather system releasing all this rain is set to move north this weekend toward India’s National Capital Region. This region is in need of rain, but residents should be prepared.