Floods in Nepal, India and Bangladesh
Country: South Asia – Nepal, India and Bangladesh
Period: summer 2017
Type of disaster: floods
Disaster: extreme and persistent monsoon rains cause many victims
Estimated number of victims: 1,500 deaths, 41 million forced from their homes
Every June the rainy season, or monsoon, arrives in Nepal, India and Bangladesh in South Asia. Up to early June the region is usually dry, but then it rains until August. And how! It rains as much in this short period as it does in western European countries over a whole year. After that it stays dry until the next monsoon. Rainfall in the summer of 2017, however, is extremely heavy. So heavy that widespread flooding occurs. It hasn’t been this bad for decades.
The huge amounts of water cause landslides with mudflows that swallow homes and bridges and cause blocks of flats to collapse, resulting in many victims. Around 41 million people lose their homes or are driven from them by the water. And the misery continues after the water subsides. Food is in short supply because much of it has been washed away or rotted. The same is true of agricultural harvests, much of which have been destroyed. Cattle have also been carried away by the floods. Houses are wrecked and whole villages swept away.
India is worst hit, with the floods responsible for over 1,300 deaths. And half of Bangladesh is flooded. In some places, rivers levels rise by almost a metre above the dangerous level. The water also brings disease, with people suffering from diarrhoea, malaria and dengue fever. There are fears of an outbreak of dangerous diseases such as typhus and jaundice.