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The latest victim of monsoon rains
Torrential downpours bring floods to eastern India
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2011 12:10
Eastern India has seen severe flooding in the past few weeks, which has affected millions of people [EPA]

For the majority of the monsoon season, the rains in many eastern parts of India were actually significantly below average.

Orissa and Bihar both fell into this category, but now they are victims of severe flooding.

For Orissa, the rains picked up from the last week of August and continued heavily throughout September. Week after week of torrential rains took their toll and many parts of the region were flooded.

The floods have submerged more than 3,000 villages across the state. 120,000 residents have been airlifted to safety, but many tens of thousands more remain stranded.

According to the Orissa relief commissioner P K Mohapatra, 27 people have lost their lives to the flooding since Friday and five more are still missing. This brings the death toll in Orissa alone to 77 since the rains turned heavy at the end of August.

The rains in Bihar picked up a few weeks later. Some parts of Bihar had seen almost no rain in the three weeks leading up to the 14 September, then suddenly the heavens opened. 13 people have now been confirmed dead in the last three days, and half a million people have been affected.

These images from NASA's Earth Observatory show the true extent of the flooding. Both the images are of the region around Jajpur, in the east of Orissa. The first image was taken 28 September 2010.

Satellite image taken 28 September 2010  [NASA]

The second, taken a year later, clearly shows a large region which is flooded in the east.

SSatellite image taken 27 September 2011  [NASA]

The rain across the region has now eased, which should help the flood waters to receed, but there is still the risk of further downpours. The monsoon rains are still likely to fall across eastern India for another couple of weeks, before they finally start to receed.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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