Floods are the deadliest of natural disasters. Earthquakes, landslides, avalanches and even hurricanes fall short when it comes to a heavy gush of water. All are dangerous and cause great havoc in their own ways, but nothing can get as punishing as the flood. It has a record of causing the maximum amount of damage in terms of life and property. The Uttarakhand floods, much recently, had shaken each one of us. It’s time to look back and remember five of the worst floods encountered by India since her independence. Here you go:
Bihar, probably, is a chosen place for floods with more than one in the last 67 years. In the August of 2008, a breakage in the river Koshi flooded the entire region of the Indo-Nepal border. This resulted in severe floods and the casualty count for North Bihar went up to almost 450. That’s only the official count. Resources say that about 2 million people suffered because of the flood. Pictures showcased flooded water in almost every nook and corner of Bihar. The places that were most affected are Supaul, Araria, Madhepura, Saharsa, Champaran and Purnea.
Maharashtra had never seen a disaster as they did on the 26th of July 2005. This is regarded as the Black Day in the history of Maharashtra because of the flood that took away lives of more than 5000 people. This was that time of the year when Mumbai receives maximum monsoon rains. Rainfall had started days before, but went on increasing. People who suffered the most were the ones out on the roads sitting inside cars. Traffic snarls were all the more responsible for the floods to worsen and the death toll to shoot up. The Bollywood film Tum Mile starring Soha Ali Khan and Emraan Hashmi was about the Maharashtra flood.
Mountainous areas suffer the most from natural disasters, especially floods. This is because of the accompanied landslides that almost inevitably take place. Ladakh, as you know, is a very beautiful place in Jammu and Kashmir. The fateful August of 2010 had seen the beginning of a series of natural disasters affecting Ladakh (cloudburst, avalanche and flash floods). All this culminated on the 6th of August with disastrous floods. The damage done to property was huge. A loss of Rs. 133 crores was reported. About 300 people died in the process. Parts of Leh were also affected.
In recent years, this was the most devastating of calamities that struck Assam. And the saddest part? It caused the death of hundreds of innocent animals. It was the month of July and the Brahmaputra, along with its territories, had flooded most of the places in Assam. It reached the Kaziranga National Park which is home to a number of rhinos. A total of 13 rhinos died along with 540 other animals. This flood is probably the most remembered and deeply felt floods in the history of floods in India. Humans were, in a way, related to this calamity. It is said that the large areas that were deforested along the banks of the Brahmaputra gave way to such a heavy flood.
This flood is still afresh in the minds of every Indian. Can anyone really forget that picture of the partially submerged figure of Lord Shiva in the flood waters? The United Nations described it as being the worst in living memory. The official death count is 580 people, although, it is much higher than that. Till now, 5748 people (the UN says 11,000 people) are missing, and it has not yet been confirmed whether they are dead or alive. The states mostly affected were Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, especially those areas that are close to the Nepal or China border. Among the dead were a lot of people who went as tourists (mainly pilgrims). This flood occurred as a result of excessive and unprecedented rainfall in those areas.