South Asia Climate Crisis
Millions Flee 'Worst Ever' Floods -- 35 Million
London, UK - 3 August 2007, 19:30 GMT
Dear ATCA Colleagues
[Please note that the views presented by individual contributors are not
necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. ATCA conducts
collective Socratic dialogue on global opportunities and threats.]
After USA, UK, China and Pakistan, it is India, Nepal and Bangladesh's turn:
100s have died & millions have been left homeless by floods across South
More than 1,000 people have been killed or injured by 'worst ever' monsoon
floods in South Asia in the last two weeks, while more than 20 million remain
homeless or marooned in their villages, many without access to basic health
care. The devastation comes on the heels of severe flooding in southern Pakistan,
caused when Cyclone Yemyin struck the country's provinces of Baluchistan and
Sindh in late June. In June and July, many parts of the UK were flooded and
so were parts of the US and China.
Aid agencies say the "dead and injured" figure is expected to rise
sharply. The threat of water-borne diseases is rising, with many villages
cut off for days. So far about 20 million people are known to have fled their
homes or are trapped in villages at risk from building collapse, landslides,
snakebites, drowning and disease.
More than 35 million people are affected in the crowded and largely impoverished
region. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said the floods are
causing havoc and chaos and could be the worst in living memory in some areas.
"The sheer size and scale of flooding and massive numbers of people affected
poses an unprecedented challenge to the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian
assistance," according to UNICEF.
Water Water Everywhere
Across the subcontinent more than half of Bangladesh is flooded, and nearly
7 million of the 20 million affected there have been marooned or forced from
their homes. India appears to have been hit even harder by the latest inundations
with floodwaters striking the densely-populated and poor states of Bihar and
Uttar Pradesh as well as the more remote Assam. In Nepal, nearly a 100 people
have been killed by flooding and landslides, and nearly 10,000 families have
been displaced with more than a quarter million people in 32 districts affected
in the last two weeks. More than 300,000 hectares (740,000 acres) of crops
have been affected.
In India's north-eastern state of Assam nearly 3 million are displaced or
marooned -- more than 10 percent of the oil-and-tea-producing state's population.
Officials there warned of outbreaks of diarrhoea and malaria. Military helicopters
and boats have tried to bring food, drinking water and medicines to them.
In the East of India -- in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state -- hundreds
of thousands have been displaced or stranded.
Rains have also affected major cities of Mumbai and the Indian capital of
New Delhi. In western India, flights and trains have been delayed by monsoon
rains in the financial hub of Mumbai, where thousands waded knee-deep in water.
Near India's eastern city of Kolkata, a court-appointed panel said that state-run
oil firms whose compounds were flooded had pumped out industrial waste and
oil along with water, causing water logging on roads and in several neighbourhoods.
We look forward to your further thoughts, observations and views. Thank
For and on behalf of DK Matai, Chairman, Asymmetric Threats Contingency
ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency
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