Northeast, July 2: India welcomes the monsoons with open arms, anticipating a good crop output and a much-needed relief from the blistering summer heat but in the east and northeast India, the season brings jitters as the accompanying flood destroys livelihoods, spreads diseases, and displaces lakhs of people every year. Assam has witnessed extreme monsoon floods in the last eight years since 2012.
As the monsoon season of 2021 completes a month, the parts of east and northeast India have started to witness severe flood situations. Koshi and Brahmaputra are referred to as the sorrow of Bihar and Assam, respectively. Flood situations in these rivers and rivers like Narayani, Bagmati, Kamla, and Gandak are already severe this year. Further, heavy monsoon rains forecast for the next five days will likely worsen the situation across the region.
Accordingly, the national forecaster has kept SHWB, Sikkim, Assam, and Meghalaya under a red warning for Friday and Saturday. A red warning urges residents and authorities to ‘take action’ to minimize the impacts of adverse weather conditions, while an orange alert recommends them to ‘be prepared’.
As per the Central Water Commission, severe flood situations have been observed in the Bagmati River in Sitamarhi, Sheohar, Muzaffarpur districts of Bihar
In addition, water levels are also expected to rise in Jalpaiguri, Coochbihar, and Alipurduar districts in West Bengal as well as Dhubri and Kokrajhar districts of Assam.
As per the Assam Disaster Management Authority, 2,743 people from Dibrugarh and Dibrugarh districts are affected due to the flooding so far this week. Authorities have set up three relief camps so far to shelter the flood victims. No casualties have been reported yet, but 22 houses and 428 hectares of crop area has been damaged in the state.
Last year, repeated bouts of monsoon floods and landslides killed nearly 150 and displaced over five lakh people in the state of Assam.
Also Read: North Bengal, Sikkim, Assam and Northeast under rain and flood alerts as the monsoon remains active
Here is the list of dos and don’ts during floods:
If a flood is likely to hit your area, you should:
- Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel
- Listen to the radio or television to keep yourself updated
- Be aware that flash flooding can occur. In this case, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions.
- Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas are known to flood suddenly.
- Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.
If you must prepare to evacuate, you should:
- Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
- Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances.
- Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall.
- If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.