India experiences two extreme situations: Water shortage in many areas and extreme flooding in a lot of areas. While both situations are extremely bad, the situation of floods can be a lot more dangerous and fatal. The loss of life and property during floods is irreparable. Floods can be caused due to various reasons. Most of these reasons are unavoidable and therefore certain areas are a lot more flood prone than others.
Causes Of Floods
Heavy Concentrated Rainfall: The average rainfall received in India is extremely high for a country of this size. There are places that receive up to 15cm rainfall in a single day. One of the problems with the rainy season is it occurs at a time when the Himalayas have excess water due to the snow melting in the mountains during summer. This means that the rivers do not have the capacity to receive any more water during the rains. This is the reason a lot of places up North as vulnerable and prone to floods. Heavy rains will result in flooding of the rivers and the excess water spills over into the adjoining areas.
Strong Winds And Cyclones: Many parts in Eastern India are prone to cyclones especially during October and November. These cyclones cause low pressure depressions in the Bay of Bengal. This accompanied with strong winds and heavy rains cause a lot of damage in a short span of time.
Drainage Issue: Certain areas like Haryana and Punjab get easily flooded due to bad drainage. This is because of the cultivation that happens in the area and the drainages getting clogged.
Areas Prone To Flooding
India is one of the most flood prone countries in the world and some areas in India flood more often in comparison to the others. Here’s a list of some of the most flood prone areas in India according to a recent survey.
There are a number of rivers to the north of India and this area is a plain area. The plain land causes severe flood in the areas that lie in North India. This includes the states of Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and West Bengal.
The tributaries of Indus, Satluj, Ravi, Jhelum, Chenab and Ravi are the main reasons for floods in areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. One of the main reasons for the flood is the inadequate drainage system in these areas.
A number of areas in central India too witness floods during the rains when the Rivers Narmada, Chambal, Godavari, Pennar, Krishna, Tapti and Cauveri start to overflow.
The east coast of India often gets flooded due to the large number of cyclonic storms in the area.
Severity Of The Floods
Some of the worst hit floods in 2016 in India are given below:
Floods in North East India: Over 18 people were dead in the Arunachal Pradesh floods. More than 40,000 people were affected by the pre-monsoon floods in Assam. Over a hundred people were rendered homeless in Nagaland after heavy floods hit the state.
Assam Floods: As per the official count, at least 11 people have died in the heavy floods in Assam.
Floods in Uttarakhand: Over 30 people were feared dead or missing when heavy floods hit Uttarakhand.
Assam Floods: More than 123,000 people have been affected by the floods in seven districts of Assam. This was caused due to the overflowing of the Brahmaputra River.
Madhya Pradesh Floods: More than 20 people have died in the floods that hit the state of Madhya Pradesh recently.
The worst part of any floods is the economic and human loss. Another major loss due to floods is the fertile lands being affected. Soil erosion and rivers changing courses can affect the sowing season greatly, thereby resulting in poor crops and shortage of food as well. A classic example is the 2013 flood in North India that killed over 5,000 people and damaged a lot of property in the area. Recovering from a flood may takes days or months and in some cases, even years.