Home / Politics / Policy /  Heavy rainfall reduces monsoon deficit, NDRF on alert for floods in 9 states

New Delhi: After heavy rainfall in several regions in the past week, monsoon deficit has rapidly come down from 9% two days ago to nil, as per latest data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Almost 90% of the country’s areas have received normal to excess monsoon rainfall since the season started in June, the exceptions being Gujarat, Saurashtra and northeastern states which have recorded deficient rainfall.

While the rainfall comes as a welcome relief after the last two consecutive failed monsoon seasons, several states are now grappling with floods or are on flood alert due to excess rainfall. After landslides and flood in Uttarakhand, 20 people died in Pithoragarh and Chamoli, according to a state official.

In Assam, Brahmaputra, Subansari, Dikhow, Dhansiri and Jia Bharali rivers are flowing over the danger mark, affecting 257 villages in seven districts. A total of 88,390 people have been affected by the flood situation in the state, according to Assam State Disaster Management Authority’s latest update.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has positioned units in nine states in anticipation of heavy rain and floods, O.P. Singh, director general of NDRF, told Mint.

“We have pre-positioned four teams in Bihar and two additional teams have been set there. We anticipated some heavy rain and also if situation in Nepal gets bad, then Bihar’s situation can be expected to get bad too. The state authorities in Bihar requested some forces," said Singh.

The NDRF has so far deployed six teams in Assam, four in West Bengal, one in Kerala, six in Bihar, four in Jammu and Kashmir, three in Uttarakhand, two in Himachal Pradesh, two in Uttar Pradesh and three in Gujarat. Meanwhile, flood response centres have been set up in 62 places across India and capacity building workshops were conducted in flood-affected rural areas. “Mock drills are specifically being carried out in flood vulnerable areas and people living on the banks of rivers are being trained," said Singh.

According to the IMD, above-normal rainfall activity is likely over central India during the second week of July and the western parts of the country are likely to receive above-normal rainfall activity during the week. The government forecaster has further warned of extremely heavy rainfall in parts of Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Northwest India can temporarily expect less rainfall, and more rainfall can be expected in central India in the next few days. Floods are taking place mostly due to rainfall in flood prone areas such as near Brahmaputra in Assam. Apart from that maybe urban floods can be expected due to lack of drainage, but reservoirs across the country are at very low levels and it will take some time for them to be replenished," said D.S. Pai, head of long-range forecasting division at IMD.

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