India: Monsoon rains displace 2 million

Heavy rains have caused massive flooding in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. Photo: © 2012 World Vision

From World Vision, Kathryn Reid:

Extreme monsoon flooding in northeast India’s Assam state has displaced nearly 2 million people and resulted in at least 77 deaths

The Hindu newspaper reported that 173 relief camps are open to accommodate more than 160,000 people.

“The surge of the rising water of Brahmaputra River has severely inundated and washed out a number of villages in Sissiborgaon Block of Dhemaji District,” says World Vision staff member James Haokip.

He says that shelter, standing crops, agriculture fields, livestock, and drinking water sources are damaged in the remote area near the border with Arunachal Pradesh state.  

As many as 400 families, including 200 sponsored children, have been forced to evacuate from their homes in Dhemaji district. The families have moved into two school buildings.

World Vision furnished power generators to the evacuation centers and is bringing in water filtration systems.

Child-Friendly Spaces are being set up to provide a gathering place for education and activities for children.

World Vision is also providing assistance to families in the Amri area, where families of 41 sponsored children have been affected.

Kunal Shah, with World Vision’s emergency response, says the organization is coordinating with the state government to determine other needs.

It is still early in the monsoon season, which extends from June through September. So far, Assam’s monsoon rains are 31 percent above normal.

Last year northeast India had a 30 percent deficit.  Central and southern India are still thirsty for seasonal rains.

The timing and amount of rainfall is critical in India, where 55 percent of the agriculture industry is rain-fed. 

With reporting by Theodore Sam, a World Vision communications officer in India.

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