India is no stranger to floods and sometimes these floods turn deadly as well. The Rajputana flood of 1943 claimed between 5,000 and 10,000 lives though the devastation that the country has faced in the 21st century has truly harrowing. Here are the top 5 deadliest floods of the new millennium so far.
2013 Uttarakhand Flash Floods
The fateful day: June 15-17, 2013
The region: Uttarakhand
The death toll: 550-plus to date (estimates suggest it could be 10s of thousands)
The extent of the flood: Rs. 5,000 Crores worth of damage across 40,000 sq. km.
Pre-monsoon rains in the higher regions of Uttarakhand had left the mighty rivers of the mountain state swollen and angry in mid-June washing away linking roads and riverside homes, hotels and shops. On June 17, a cloudburst at the Kedarnath Rampada Region washed through the region, burying pilgrims and destroying buildings. approximately 84,000 people were left stranded in the cold with no food or shelter while the Indian Army and Central Command launched the largest ever rescue mission in India’s history. The final figures of devastation and death are yet to come in.
2004 Eastern India and Bangladesh flooding
The fateful day: May-September 2004
The region: north-east Indian states, Bihar and West Bengal
The death toll: 3,076
The extent of the flood: 30 million people affected
In the summer of 2004, a network of 230 rivers emerging from the Himalayas became pregnant with excessive rain and melting ice. All this water was dumped in the eastern part of India and Bangladesh where is claimed the lives of 1,119 people in India alone through waterborne diseases, mudslides and drowning.
2008 monsoon floods
The fateful day: June- September 2008
The region: Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Orissa.
The death toll: 2,400
The extent of the flood: 225,000-plus homes destroyed, 2 million people displaced
Regular torrential rain turned deadly when rivers across Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra overflowed their banks several times in the June-September monsoon season. Dubbed the worst floods of the last 50 years in the region, the devastation claimed 2,400 lives and displaced close to 2 million people in the region.
2005 Mumbai Floods
The fateful day: July 26, 2005
The region: Mumbai
The death toll: 1,503 dead
The extent of the flood: Rs. 550 Crores (US$D100 million) worth of damage
Due to a cloudburst over a span of eight to ten hours approximately 950 mm of rain fell around Mumbai causing a flood in the surrounding lakes. Coupled with high tide and a drainage system failure, India’s financial center was left paralyzed for hours as people drowned in the streets.
2010 Laddakh Floods
The fateful day: August 6, 2010
The region: 71 towns and villages including Leh
The death toll: 1,000 dead, 200 missing
The extent of the flood: Rs. 204 Crores (USD50 million) worth of damage
On August 6, 2010, heavy overnight rains and a cloudburst triggered a flash flood that resulted in heavy debris flow and mudslides through the region that is usually known to be a cold, dry desert. Around 9,000 people were left homeless by the flooding while more than a 1,000 lost their lives.