Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 27 October 2020

India's monsoon rainfall reaches 25-year high as flood toll rises

Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states hit by surge of rainfall from receding monsoon

Rescuers collect a wounded man from a flooded area of Patna, capital of the Indian state of Bihar, on September 30, 2019. AFP
Rescuers collect a wounded man from a flooded area of Patna, capital of the Indian state of Bihar, on September 30, 2019. AFP

India has received its highest monsoon rainfall in 25 years, the metorological department said on Monday as the death toll from three days heavy rain in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states passed 100.

Officials in Uttar Pradesh said that at least 79 people had died in the state since Friday after it witnessed a heavy spell of retreating monsoon rains, flooding many areas.

In neighbouring Bihar, the death toll from the latest bout of rain rose to 25.

India's monsoon season, which accounts for almost 75 per cent of the country's annual rainfall, begins in June and starts to retreat by early September, but heavy to very heavy rainfall has continued across parts of the country this year, triggering floods in many low-lying areas.

The meteorological department said the country received 10 per cent above average monsoon rains this year as rainfall continues longer than expected.

Bihar's capital city of Patna, home to around 2 million, has been badly hit, with waist-deep flood waters across many streets, and entering homes, shops, and even the wards of a major hospital.

"The rains have stopped but there is waterlogging in many areas," said Amod Kumar Sharan, a state disaster relief official.

Authorities sent boats to rescue residents from the submerged areas.

While many have received tents from the government, others, including Ananju Devi, said they have not been given adequate aid.

"We are unable to cook any food. How can we? We are just sitting around and getting by somehow," Ms Devi said.

In its bulletin on Monday, the meteorological department said the intensity of rainfall over Bihar was very likely to reduce. Showers in Uttar Pradesh are also expected to abate this week.

The authorities in Bihar asked schools to remain closed until Tuesday as a preventive measure.

Updated: September 30, 2019 07:08 PM

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