South Asia struggles with floods

August 2, 2007 at 2:44 pm 3 comments

 South Asia struggles with floods

Millions of people have been displaced by severe flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains in northern India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Villagers in Darbhanga district in Bihar sought refuge on the raised road

More than 12 million are displaced or marooned in the Indian states of Assam, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, officials say.

A third of neighbouring Bangladesh is inundated, with nearly 40 people killed and some five million affected by the floods, the authorities say.

Nepal’s government says that 86 people have died in the torrential rainfall.

The BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder in Delhi says that these floods have been described as the worst floods in 10 years in northern India.

Vast stretches of fertile countryside are under water, damaging farmland and flooding thousands of villages.

It has been raining heavily in the region for more than a week and many of the rivers which flow through northern India and into Bangladesh are overflowing.

In some places they have burst their banks.

Flood politics

Bihar’s State Disaster Management Committee chairman Manoj Srivastava told the BBC that the flood situation was quite “serious”.

At least 121 relief camps and 34 cattle camps had been set up in the flood-affected areas of Bihar, he said.

map of India, Nepal and Bangladesh

The Patna High Court has recently criticised the state government for its failure to deliver relief materials.

Bihar’s former chief minister and the current federal railway minister, Laloo Prasad Yadav, made an aerial tour of the region on Wednesday and accused the state government of “criminal negligence”.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is out of the state on business.

State Governor RS Gavai has appealed to all party leaders to bury their political differences and work together to help flood victims.

Uttar Pradesh has also been hard hit.

The two worst affected districts are reported to be Gorakhpur and Kushinagar, although water levels in major rivers there are said to have stopped rising for the moment.

Army assistance

Many roads and bridges in the states of Bihar and Assam, the worst affected, have been damaged making it harder for the authorities to get relief material to those affected.

The army is using helicopters to drop supplies but aid agencies are already warning of shortages of food and drinking water.

Villagers in Madanabori in Assam

Almost six million are affected in Assam, authorities say

In Bangladesh, a country that is predominantly low-lying, hundreds of thousands of people are camping on embankments or on the roofs of their homes waiting for relief.

One man who abandoned his home in Sirajganj, 110km (70 miles) north-west of Dhaka, said he and his family had lost everything.

“We are suffering too much here in this makeshift shelter. The flood has destroyed all of our belongings, we could save nothing,” he told the BBC.

Many are using boats to move around.

Bangladesh’s military-backed interim government has said it is doing its best to cope.

In Nepal, several rivers that flow down from the Himalayas have burst their banks in the heavily populated and low-lying Terai region that borders Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

The BBC’s Mark Dummett in Kathmandu says that some people have blamed India for worsening the situation because it has not opened dams on its side of the border.

But, authorities in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh say that the release of flood waters by Nepal causes flooding on their side of the border.



Submerged village in Darbhanga district, Bihar

Millions of people have been displaced by flooding in South Asia, officials say. Areas in India’s Bihar state, pictured here, are among the worst hit.


Villagers in Sirajganj district

The River Jamuna burst its banks flooding much of the small town of Sirajganj in Bangladesh.


Woman on a boat made of banana leaves

Many people have fled their homes. Here a woman transports her possessions and goat on a boat made of banana leaves in Sirajganj.


Boat in inundated Kaziranga National Park in Assam, Northeast India

Animals, as well as people, have been forced to move from Kaziranga National Park in Assam state in India.


Queue for supplies in Jhargaon, Assam

People in Assam have been queuing for supplies, as officials try to provide victims with relief.


Cycle rickshaw in flooded street in Dhaka

In Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, cycle rickshaws battled against the floodwaters.


Villagers watch flooded paddy field in Nepal

Southern Nepal has also suffered. Villagers here are seen looking out over submerged paddy fields in Rautahat.


China floods

Weeks of torrential rain, landslides and floods in China have left more than 700 people dead and forced about 5m others to flee their homes.


Bangladesh floods

Thousands of people have also been cut off from their homes in eastern India and Bangladesh as monsoon floods continue to cause widespread devastation. 


Bangladesh floods

In Bangladesh, people have been trying to save their belongings and make their way to higher ground as water in the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers rise.


Bangladesh floods

Boats are being used to rescue people and get medicines and food to stranded residents. 


Bangladesh floods

This shopkeeper in Dhaka, Bangladesh, decided to stay opened despite his shop being awash with flood water.


Indian Army soldiers giving out food to flood victims

Throughout southern Asia, more than 1,400 people are thought to have been killed by floods, disease and landslides linked to the monsoon rains. In India, the Army has been giving out food to those affected. 


Flood victims queue to see Army doctors in India

And Army doctors are on hand to give medical checks to those who were caught up in the floods.


Boys play in floodwaters in Sirajganj, Bangladesh.

These boys in Sirajganj, Bangladesh, made the best of the situation.


Women of Gangatibisunpur of Muzaffarpur district in Bihar wade through waters on Wednesday.

An villager uses a raft to reach a drinking water pump in Guwahati yesterday


India Millions displaced by floods

Millions displaced by floods


Bangladeshis evacuate amid flooding in Dhaka

Millions across South Asia have no food or clean water due to flooding


A villager transports his mother
to safety on a raft in India


Click for more of the
best photojournalism:
A village is seen submerged in flood waters in Darbhanga in the Indian state of Bihar, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2007. Unusually heavy monsoon rains have devastated large swaths of northern India and Bangladesh, killing at least 164 people, displacing or stranding millions of others and washing away vital crops, officials said Thursday.


An ordeal: A horse-cart wades through a water-logged area after heavy rain in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh on Sunday.



Entry filed under: Articles.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • […] South Asia struggles with floodsOne man who abandoned his home in Sirajganj, 110km (70 miles) north-west of Dhaka, said he and his family had lost everything. “We are suffering too much here in this makeshift shelter. The flood has destroyed all of our belongings, … […]

  • 2. amber  |  November 14, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    i feel bad for them

  • 3. soumy  |  July 25, 2009 at 10:19 am


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