IN IMAGES, IN PICTURES – The monsoon of the century ends in India, more than 400 dead


Landslides and floods have hit southern India, including the state of Kerala, after what some are already calling the “monsoon of the century”. This rain event began on August 11th and the first floods did not begin until eight days later, this Sunday, August 19th. More than 400 people lost their lives.

On Monday, August 20th, the recession continued in the state of Kerala , in the south of India . And with her share of sinister discoveries and bad news. Last week’s floods claimed the lives of more than 400 people, forced more than 720,000 people to move, and are expected to cost India more than $ 3 billion, pending new reports that will likely these three figures be revised upwards

Areas cut off from the rest of the country

A week of torrential rains completely cut off parts of Kerala State from the rest of the country and, as a result, delayed the arrival of relief supplies.

The city of Kochi, August 18, 2018, was part of the completely cut off areas of the world by the “floods of the century”. | STR / AFP

Entire towns and villages were thus isolated for several days, the main transport axes being unusable.

Kerala Flood _ India
Roads were completely cut off during the monsoon episode, isolating parts of the state of Kerala and preventing the rapid arrival of relief, as here, August 19. | Sivaram V / Reuters

Some inhabitants, more equipped than others, were able to use boats to move, between the rainy episodes, towards safer places.

Kerala floods that reportedly killed at least 300 people.
Some locals have used boats to reach safer places, like here in Kochi, August 19, 2018. | Prakash Elamakkara / EPA-EFE

Others were not so fortunate and had either to wait for the arrival of relief, by land or air, or to move on their own, taking with them as much food as they could.

Kerala Flood _ India
The rescuers have, in particular, carried out helicopters, as here at Paravoor, on August 18th. | AFP
Kerala Flood _ India
Indians move on a railway track near Chenagannur on August 19, 2018. More than 720,000 people have had to leave their homes because of floods. | AFP

Many of them had to wait until 19 and 20 August and the first floods to leave the affected areas, while the relief reached the most isolated places and discovered destruction and new bodies.

Kerala Flood _ India
Firefighter from Kerala carries a child on his shoulders during search and rescue operations in the village of Annamanada, August 19, 2018. | Manjunath Kiran / AFP

Management of the “after”

The government will now have to deal with the aftermath. The material and economic damage, in addition to the human damage already colossal, are numerous. Agriculture should be severely impacted, as well as many local businesses and industries. In some places, the water level could reach between 3 to 4 meters.

Kerala Flood _ India
The water has reached 3 to 4.5 meters in places. Unpublished levels that make this rainy episode “monsoon of the century”. In Chalakudi Taulk, the material damage is numerous. | Manjunath Kiran / AFP

Along the roads taken by the hundreds and thousands of displaced people, the destroyed buildings and other dead animals reminded everyone that the consequences of this episode would also be felt in the long term.

Kerala Flood _ India
The floods were deadly for the men, but also for the flora and fauna. The cost of this monsoon on the Indian economy should be, at least $ 3 billion. | Manjunath Kiran / AFP

For the authorities, it is now a question of organizing the 5,645 humanitarian aid camps opened since the beginning of this crisis and the 725,000 internally displaced persons. In particular, there is the risk that deteriorated hygiene conditions and contamination of drinking water will create conditions conducive to the onset of disease.

Kerala Flood _ India
5,645 humanitarian camps were created across the state of Kerala. Here, From Kochi, August 19, 2018. | Sivaram V / Reuters

Meanwhile, search and rescue operations continue from this Monday on August 20, while residents continue to evacuate the affected areas. This Monday, August 20, the Indian government decreed “the state of natural disaster” .

Kerala Flood _ India
Indians move across the waters in Kerala State on August 20, 2018. The recession started since August 19 allows residents to leave the most affected areas. | Prakash Elamakkara / EPA / MAXPPP

About Dawn Richard

In addition to writing for NextColumn, Dawn Richard contributes to other publications including Sensiblereason and Natural News. He studied Computer Science and Journalism at Boston University, and also worked in BBC as well as in the public sectors.

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