Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"One thousand villages." What would happen if *3 million* people lost their homes to flooding in the States?

That's what just happened in India.

The Economist reports:

"AS NEW ORLEANS survived the worst Hurricane Gustav could throw at it, the scale of devastation wrought by another natural fury was becoming horribly apparent. On August 18th the monsoon-swollen river Kosi, a Ganges tributary that flows from Nepal to India, burst an embankment on the Nepali side of the border and flowed into a channel it had abandoned a century earlier. The water gushed into hundreds of villages in the Indian state of Bihar, killing an unknown number and displacing more than 3m, many of whom have been marooned on roofs, trees and tiny islands of dry land. Hundreds of thousands are living in makeshift camps.

South Asia’s monsoon rains kill hundreds every year. This summer they have been especially severe, killing nearly 2,000 people in India since June, according to government’s National Disaster Management Division. That total will soon double, at least. Many of the deaths occurred in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. In north-eastern Assam, floodwaters have submerged over a thousand villages ... In Bangladesh, flooding has cut off at least 50,000 people."
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