7 of 10 Indo-Australian plate moving: catastrophic flooding unprecedented in 1,000 years killed 600 in India, hundreds still missing

22.06.13.

NEW DELHI, June 21 (Xinhua) -- At least 207 people have been killed in floods in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand since Sunday, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said Friday.

"We have evacuated more than 34,000 people, some 49,000 to 50, 000 people are still stranded there. Efforts are being made to rescue stranded people in Uttarakhand," the Home Minister told the media in state capital Dehradun, after a meeting with disaster management officials.

He said that the death toll could rise further.

Floods and landslides, triggered by heavy rainfall, hit northern India Sunday, with Uttarakhand being the worst affected.

Forty bodies of flood victims were recovered from Haridwar, a Hindu holy city dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, taking the toll in the rain fury to 190, said officials.

Meanwhile, rescue operation for some 10,000 Hindu pilgrims stranded in the holy sites of Kedarnath and Badrinath was picking up pace with the army sending over 40 helicopters.

Uttarakhand principal secretary Rakesh Sharma said casualty figures can be "shocking" as most flood affected ares remain out of access by authorities.

In Haridwar, 40 bodies of those killed in the flashfloods and incessant rain have been found in the mud and debris, the Press Trust of India quoted officials as saying.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Chairperson Sonia Gandhi have viewed the devastated areas from air and promised massive central government aid to the local government.

The people stranded in the remote areas are running out of water and food as all the roads leading to these places were damaged by landslide and flood, said officials.

Indian officials described the devastation of the Uttarakhand as "unprecedented in 1,000 years" and said it would need at least five years for the flood-affected areas to recover.

Monsoon arrived two weeks ahead of normal time this year and took authorities by surprise.

In the Indian capital, the weather has returned to the heat with temperature re-bouncing back to above 45 degrees Celsius.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-06/21/c_132475604.htm

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At least 40 bodies have been recovered from the river Ganges in the temple town of Haridwar, taking the toll in the flood-hit Indian state of Uttarakhand to 207, officials said.

The bodies were recovered on Friday, senior Haridwar police official Rajiv Swaroop told the BBC.

Haridwar is downstream from the region where heavy rains on Sunday night triggered flash floods and landslides.

Meanwhile, rescuers continue to search for survivors trapped in remote areas.

Officials said more than 33,000 pilgrims had been rescued in the last few days, but more than 50,000 people were still stranded.

Kedarnath, the centre of faith, has turned into a burial ground. Bodies are scattered in the area”

Harak Singh Rawat Uttarakhand Agriculture Minister

State Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has described the floods as a "Himalayan tsunami".

Officials say that the number of dead could exceed 1,000 people, although the exact number will be known only after a survey of the entire region is completed.

Flood-related deaths have also been reported in Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh states and neighbouring Nepal.

The monsoon season generally lasts from June to September, bringing rain which is critical to the farming output, but this year the rain in the north of India and parts of Nepal has been heavier than usual.
'Burial ground'

On Friday, officials said 43 helicopters were being used to drop food and medicine and evacuate people trapped in towns and villages in the northern Himalayas.

The Indian army said they were making temporary bridges and working to restore road links.
A man carries a flood victim after they were rescued by the army in Uttarakhand on June 19, 2013

Rescuers were trying to evacuate the last of the stranded from the holy town of Kedarnath, in Rudraprayag district, which has been among the worst affected areas.

State Agriculture Minister Harak Singh Rawat, who had visited the Kedarnath area, described the floods as the "worst tragedy of the millennium".

"It will take us at least five years to recover from the extensive damages caused to the entire infrastructure network in the Kedarnath area which is the worst affected," the Press Trust of India quoted him as saying.

Mr Rawat said he was "shocked" to see the extent of the damage caused to the buildings and area adjoining the shrine.

"The centre of faith has turned into a burial ground. Bodies are scattered in the area. Only the sanctum sanctorum is intact," he added.

Officials say the rains in Uttarakhand have been the heaviest in 60 years and the floods have flattened hotels and homes and washed away roads and dozens of bridges.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the situation there as "distressing" and announced a 10bn rupee ($170m; £127m) aid package for the state.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-23001947

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NEW DELHI, June 22 (Xinhua) -- As many as 600 people have been killed and hundreds still missing in monsoon floods which swept through the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand last Sunday, triggering landslides and washing away several towns and roads, a government official said Saturday.

The death toll is expected to rise once more dead bodies are recovered from the slush and mud lying everywhere across the hilly state, he said, adding that disaster management teams, comprising Indian Army, Indian Air Force and para-military troopers, have been trying their best to rescue people, mostly Hindu pilgrims, who are still stranded in the difficult terrain of the hilly state.

Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who visited the flood- hit areas of the state this morning, said that some 73,000 people have been taken to safety so far and an additional 30,000 to 32, 000 still stranded. "We are hopeful of evacuating all people in the next two days," he told the media.

Some 17 foreign tourists are among those who have been air- lifted to safety this morning, the official said, adding that the next two days will be crucial for rescue work as the weather office has predicted that heavy rains may again lash the flood-hit state.

"The rescuers, led by the Indian Army, are racing against time to rescue as many people as possible, still stranded in the hilly terrain. Many people have already died due to hunger and illness. Indian Army road engineers have been pressed into service to build bridges swept away in the floods," he added.

Local TV channels showed footage of Indian Army and Indian Air Force choppers air lifting people, including aged pilgrims, who are stranded in upper reaches of the state, including the pilgrimage sites of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, without adequate supply of food and water.

Flood survivors were evacuated to state capital Dehradun which has also been made the base for the relief effort, from where rescue workers, medicines and food are being flown to the flood- hit areas. Many of the survivors have been recounting the horror stories to TV channels, with some saying that they saw rocks and boulders, as big as cars, hitting those killed in the flash floods in the hilly terrain.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has announced a 10 billion rupees (170 million U.S. dollars) relief package for the state.

The monsoon arrives in India in June end and stays till September. But, this year, the weather office says that the showers came a fortnight ahead of schedule. Moreover, the rains in Uttarakhand is said to be the heaviest in 60 years.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-06/22/c_132477153.htm

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The death toll from monsoon flooding and landslides in mountainous northern India rose to nearly 600 on Friday with rescuers finding bodies in the Ganges and in the muddy, broken earth, officials said.

The air force dropped paratroopers, food and medicine for people trapped in up to 100 towns and villages cut off since Sunday in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand where thousands of people are stranded, many of them Hindu pilgrims who were visiting four shrines in the area.

The Uttarakhand state chief minister, Vijay Bahuguna, told CNN-IBN television channel on Friday that 556 bodies had been seen buried deep in mud and the army was trying to recover them. Rescuers also found 40 bodies floating in the Ganges near the pilgrimage site of Haridwar, said Rajiv Swaroop, a police officer.

Rakesh Sharma, another state official, said on Thursday that the death toll might reach the thousands, but the exact figure would not be known until the entire region had been checked.

Sushilkumar Shinde, the federal home minister, told reporters in Delhi that 34,000 people had been evacuated so far and 50,000 more were stranded in the region. Roads and bridges were washed away by the floods or blocked by debris.

A spokesman for Uttarakhand, Amit Chandola, said the rescue operation was centred on evacuating nearly 27,000 people trapped in the worst-hit Kedarnath temple area, one of the holiest Hindu sites dedicated to the god Shiva, located high in the Garhwal Himalayan range. The temple escaped major damage, but debris covered the area around it and television images showed the bodies of pilgrims strewn around the area.

Soldiers and other workers reopened dozens of roads by building makeshift bridges, accelerating the evacuation, Chandola said. More than 2,000 vehicles carrying stranded Hindu pilgrims had moved out of the area since late on Thursday and thousands of soldiers were continuing efforts to reach the worst-hit towns and villages, he said.

Thirty-six air force helicopters have been ferrying rescue workers, doctors, equipment, food and medicine to Kedarnath, the town closest to many of those stranded, said Priya Joshi, an air force spokeswoman. Seven aircraft carried paratroopers and fuel to the region.

Hundreds of people looking for relatives demonstrated in Dehradun, the Uttarakhand state capital, where flood survivors were taken by helicopter. They complained the government was taking too long to evacuate the survivors, with helicopters bringing in four to five people at a time.

Jasveer Kaur, a 50-year-old housewife, said she and her family survived by taking shelter in a Sikh shrine, which withstood the flood, located in Govind Dham.

"There was destruction all around," said Kaur after she was evacuated by an air force helicopter. "It was a nightmare."

Google has launched an application, Person Finder, to help trace missing people in Uttarakhand. The version is available in both Hindi and English versions.

The annual monsoon rains sustain India's agriculture but also cause flooding that claims hune numbers of lives and damages property. The neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state said 17 flood-related deaths had occurred there since the heavy rains on Sunday.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/21/india-floods-uttarakhan...

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Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on August 8, 2013 at 6:05am

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/heavy-rain-triggers-landslide-in-...

Heavy rain triggers landslide in Himachal Pradesh, three killed in Uttar Pradesh

Heavy rain triggers landslide in Himachal Pradesh, three killed in Uttar Pradesh

Picture of debris of the army quarters that were swept away in a major landslide at Tihra lines near Dharamshala

New DelhiNearly 30 houses were destroyed in a landslide in Himachal Pradesh while heavy rains in Uttar Pradesh claimed three more lives today.

The national capital today witnessed light and sporadic rains with day temperature settling three degrees below normal. (Read more)

In Uttar Pradesh, three more persons lost their lives in Sitapur even as moderate to rather heavy showers and thundershowers occurred at isolated places over the state.

River Ganga was still flowing above the danger mark at Gazipur and Ballia and Sharda at Palia Kalan.

River Ghaghra which continued to flow above the danger level at Elgin Bridge has receded to just below the red mark at Ayodhya and Turtipar and Rapti was flowing close to the danger mark at Bhinga (Shrawasti) and Balrampur.

Met officials said that rain and thundershowers would occur at many places over the state with heavy rainfall likely to be witnessed at isolated places in the next 48 hours.
Comment by Howard on July 5, 2013 at 3:09am

Over 300 villages Washed Away in Latest Northern India Flooding (July 4)

Floods have now hit the northeastern Indian state of Assam, washing away more than 300 villages, just days after the natural calamity devastated the northern state of Uttarakhand, killing thousands, a senior government official said Thursday.

Heavy rains have triggered flash floods which swept away 300 villages across eight districts of the state, located on the banks of overflowing Brahmaputra river, displacing thousands and destroying crops.

The worst impact of the floods was felt in Morigaon and Dhemaji districts.

Agricultural land and 30,000 animals were swept in the floodwaters and at least 5,000 people fled their waterlogged villages.

"Our houses have been destroyed and all our animals have been swept away. And the government has not come to help us," said a villager.

The state government has started rescue and rehabilitation operations, the official said.

The havoc caused in Assam by the floods came a few days after devastating floods struck Uttarakhand, killing 10,000 people and leaving tens of thousands in need of aid and rehabilitation.

Sources

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90777/8311750.html

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/1856971/report-floods-in-assam-sweep-...

Comment by Chris on June 24, 2013 at 2:39pm
Comment by Andrey Eroshin on June 23, 2013 at 3:40pm

Looking at this terrible flood, hard to imagine how the tragedy will result for India event after mark 7 and in hour of pole shift. This flood look like a flood in Krimsk, when tsunami hit the city. All residents in one voice said, that this was not rain, such can not be, and were right. Dear friends, we will hope, that people will hear us and take steps to salvation.

Comment by Kojima on June 23, 2013 at 2:14pm

* Severe Flooding in Northern India, Nepal [Earth Observatory; 21 June 2013]

In mid-June 2013, unusually severe monsoon rain caused devastating flooding in northern India and Nepal. By June 21, news outlets reported at least 600 people dead and tens of thousands stranded or missing in rugged, inaccessible terrain on the edge of the Himalayas. Extremely high waters, particularly in the state of Uttarakhand, undermined roads and houses, while landslides wiped out others.

Landslide researcher David Petley noted on his blog: “Whilst mid-June is monsoon season in this area, the most intense rainfall usually occurs later than this. Unfortunately, this high intensity rainfall event will have saturated the ground in these areas, making them more vulnerable to landslides later in the summer.”

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite observed the flooding on June 21, 2013 (top). For comparison, the lower image shows the same area on May 30, 2013. These false-color images use a combination of visible and infrared light to make it easier to distinguish between water and land. Water appears blue and vegetation is bright green. Clouds (lower left) are pale blue-green and cast shadows. Glacier ice and snow in the Himalayas are pale blue to cyan.

The third image is a map of rainfall totals in India, Nepal, and surrounding countries from June 14-20, 2013. The heaviest rainfall—greater than 300 millimeters (12 inches)—appears in dark blue. The lightest rainfall (less than 15 millimeters, or 0.6 inches) appears in light green. Trace amounts of rain appear in yellow.

The map is based on data from NASA’s Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (MPA), which estimates rainfall by combining measurements from several satellites and calibrating them using measurements from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). Because it is an estimate of rainfall over a very large area and based on when satellites pass overhead, the MPA may miss pockets of heavy rain in smaller areas, or short periods of more or less intense rain. As a result, local rainfall totals measured from the ground may differ from the estimates shown here.

* Aurangabad records 2nd highest rainfall this season [The Times of India; 22 June 2013]

AURANGABAD: Heavy showers lashed the city around 4 pm on Friday leading to Aurangabad recording the second highest rainfall this season - 18 millimetre (mm) in an hour.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted few spells of rain and shower in the next 48 hours.

The maximum temperature in the city was marked at 31.5 degrees Celsius, while minimum was recorded at 23.3 degrees Celsius with 98% humidity. The city had recorded around 27.8 mm pre-monsoon showers on June 6, while around 13 mm rainfall was observed on June 9.

Meanwhile, neighbouring talukas recorded 3 mm rain, while Beed and Patoda recorded 2 mm each. Parts of Madhya Maharashtra and Vidarbha also witnessed light rainfall.

The southwest monsoon has been active over sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim and Odisha. It has been subdued over Arunachal Pradesh, west Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, west Rajasthan, Saurashtra, and Kutch and Vidarbha, the IMD report stated.

The IMD further said, "Heavy rainfall would occur at many places in the districts of Konkan Goa and moderate rainfall would occur at a few places in the districts of Madhya Maharashtra and Marathwada."

Aurangabad taluka has received as much as 109 mm rainfall till now and 1,080 mm rainfall combined in the district.

* BBC News - Why is India obsessed with monsoon rains? [4 June 2013]

This is possibly the only time of the year in India when over a billion people await an unusual bit of news with bated breath.

And so, this time the tidings are good and arrived over the weekend.

Monsoon hits Kerala, India ready to tap it , announced a relieved Business Standard on Saturday. The newspaper said the southwest monsoon, "the lifeline for millions of farmers across the country" had hit the southern state on its "usual onset date".

Even Bollywood's biggest star Amitabh Bachchan joined the celebrations.

"The monsoons have reached Kerala and the Lakshdweep islands... This is a good sign... A week later, traditionally, they should be over Mumbai... This is an indicator of a normal monsoon. We survive and depend on this rain phenomena and much of India's produce depends on its performance - the monsoons I mean," the actor wrote on his blog.

Comment by Nancy Lieder on June 23, 2013 at 12:39pm

Great post! This crunch area is right where the Indio plate is being pushed under. You have your finger right on the true cause! Not rain!

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