India faces worst flooding in a century

By August 28, 2018

India (MNN) — The flooding in southern India is the worst that it’s been in a century.

Flooding in Kerala and Other Indian States

India Today reported that between August 1 and 20, Kerala was hit with 771 millimeters of rain, which was 179 percent more than usual monsoon rains.

Seventy-eight out of the 80 dams in the area were overfilled by the rains and forced to open their gates. This affected the downstream districts Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, and Idukki with floods.

Over 26,000 homes and 40,000 hectares of crops were destroyed in Kerala.

Kerala was the hardest hit district and 387 people have died in the flooding. However, other states have been hit with rains, landslides, and extreme flooding as well.

According to Times of India, there were 204 deaths in Uttar Pradesh, 195 in West Bengal, 161 in Karnataka, and 46 in Assam.

The total number of those who have been killed in the flooding so far is 993 people.

(Photo courtesy of India Partners)

“The flooding has just been devastating homes and roads and taking out bridges,” India Partners’ Donna Glass says. “And it’s not just in the rural areas, but it’s also kind of moving into more of the… urban areas, more towns.”

This is the first time in Kerala that the highlands, cities, and lowlands were all affected by floods.

Rescuing Victims of Flooding

Throughout southern India, more than 800,000 people have been evacuated by boats and helicopters to get to relief camps outside of the flood zones.

Commander Sridhar Warrier of the Indian Navy said the navy has rescued nearly 17,000 people from the floods in Kerala.

India Today reported that 1,173 people were airlifted by the navy and 15,670 were rescued by Gemini boat.

While India is hit with monsoons every year, Glass says this is the first time India Partners’ workers have requested help since 2014.

Their indigenous workers have been affected by floods, but they report that their area has not been hit nearly as hard as Kerala.

India Partners’ Work

India Partners’ is going into villages to distribute aid to those who have not gone to relief camps.

“What our partners are doing is they’re going, as they are able to get to villages, as they’re able to find roads that maybe have not washed out, going into villages where they’ve already built relationships and seeing what needs are in those villages,” Glass says.

Some villages that India Partners has built relationships with are not in need of humanitarian aid and have not been affected.

“But there are about ten villages that they’ve already identified where they’ve been working and they’ve built relationships in those villages. So, coming back in in times of disaster and bringing relief in the form of food and basic hygiene supplies, it continues that relationship and so that there’s a trust and a bond with those villagers.”

(Photo courtesy of India Partners)

In some of these villages, India Partners’ indigenous workers have built wells. Glass says these are advanced wells with electrical pumps that are completely hooked up to storage tanks. She says she hopes because of this, the people’s water will not be affected in these specific villages.

As India Partners distributes aid, help provide basic necessities such as rice, vegetables, and soap.

Just $47 will provide for a family for two weeks.

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