In Pictures: 2012 Asian Monsoon

Causing devastating floods in India's Assam and Bangladesh, and drought fears in other areas.


Japan, China, India and Bangladesh have all been badly hit by flooding in the past few weeks, thanks to the East Asian Monsoon and the Indian Southwest Monsoon.

Both monsoons usually bring some flooding, but this year the East Asian Monsoon has been very active. China and Japan have suffered badly. In Japan, some parts of the island of Kyushu reported over 500mm of rain in 24 hours, which according to the Japanese Meteorological Agency, was the heaviest rain that the region has ever experienced.

For the majority of India, the monsoon has been more than 20 per cent below average. Many farmers are concerned that if the rains don't pick up soon, their crops will be ruined.

However, the monsoon over India is actually two different branches: one over the northeast and Bangladesh, and the other covers the rest of India. So whilst the monsoon over the bulk of India is below average, the rain over the northeast and Bangladesh has been torrential.

Widespread flooding has occurred across the northeastern states of Assam and West Bengal, as well as Bangladesh, and the rains continue to fall.

More flooding is inevitable before the monsoons retreat in September.