It has been over a month since the onset of the southwest monsoon in the country. With the exception of states like Jammu-Kashmir, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand, which have received rainfall in excess, the rest of India largely recorded normal rainfall.
According to the data made available by the India Meteorological Department, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and parts of Karnataka were the only states in Southern India to register a decrease in rainfall. In Maharashtra, Vidarbha, a drought-prone region which reported the highest number of farmer suicides in the state, noted a 27 per cent change from the normal rainfall received. It was equally worse in Western Madhya Pradesh which recently witnessed a farmers’ agitation in Mandsaur. The Eastern of the state fared considerably better with 247.3 mm rainfall.
In the Northeast, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur have been witnessing floods and landslides. The mighty Brahmaputra and its tributaries in Assam has so far submerged 2,500 villages, destroyed 1.06 lakh hectares of farmland, damaged infrastructure by breaching embankments and overrunning roads and bridges. Communication was also disrupted by the floods in the state. The death toll in this year’s floods rose to 44 on Wednesday. Nearly one lakh people have been forced to take shelter in 231 relief camps. And nearly 75 per cent of the state’s Kaziranga National Park, a World Heritage site, is inundated with flood water.
Meanwhile, Manipur has suffered a loss of around Rs 131 crore in floods and landslide in the state. Over 20 per cent of its total paddy fields in five districts of the Imphal valley have been hit by the deluge. Union Minister Kiren Rijiju was dispatched by the Centre to oversee the rescue and relief operations in affected areas in the entire region.
In Arunachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Pema Khandu has directed the administration to issue orders for evacuation of people living in vulnerable areas of Itanagar to safer areas and appealed to people in such places to shift to relief camps.
The state capital was virtually cut off with its lifeline NH 415 getting totally eroded at the entry point, while the alternate road via Jullang remained blocked, leaving only one road — through Hollongi enroute Lakhimpur district in Assam.
On Tuesday, five persons had been killed and nine went missing as a massive landslide triggered by incessant rains hit eight dwellings in Papum Pare district.
The IMD issued a weather warning for Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal, UttarKhand, Odisha where isolated parts of the states are expected to receive heavy rainfall in the next one week.