Countries getting better at preventing flood-related deaths but not India

Nearly 14% of India’s landmass is vulnerable to flooding and more than 15% of this area gets flooded every year. Since 1953, 1,600 lives have been lost every year on average due to floods.

Yet, the central government has not released 61% of the funds promised for flood management between April 2007 and March 2016, and 43% of the 517 works approved have not been completed, a recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, the government’s auditor, has found.

The CAG studied a sample of 206 flood management programmes, 38 flood forecasting stations, 49 river management activities and works related to border area projects, and 68 large dams across 17 selected states and union territories (UTs) from read more

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Rainfall in India: How expanding forest cover can reduce flood damage

More forest cover can reduce the damage that floods cause in India, a new study by researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-K) has reported.The study analysed government data across states for the period 1998-2011 to examine the impact of forest cover on flood-related destruction.

It finds that the states that have recorded the most damage from floods are Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh. These states have lesser forest cover compared with states that recorded less damage.

The study’s findings are important as India has been facing worsening episodes of flooding, affecting millions across numerous states.

“Loss of forest cover can make the ecosystem, human habitation and various natural resources more vulnerable to changing climatic conditions in the form read more

Gujarat floods: PM Modi announces Rs 500-cr relief fund, death toll at 60

Even as low pressure continues to cause heavy rains and flooding in several regions of Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who conducted an aerial survey on Tuesday, announced a Rs 500-crore central assistance to the state disaster relief fund (SDRF).

PM Modi conducted an aerial survey of the Banaskantha district, the most affected region in the state, forcing the Indian Air Force (IAF), the national disaster relief force (NDRF) and other state agencies conduct rescue operations.

In the past 24 hours, districts of Banaskantha, Patan and Sabarkantha in North Gujarat have seen at least 12 talukas receive over 200 mm of rainfall, as per the state emergency operations centre. At least three IAF helicopters were pressed into service for airlifting locals and the distribution of food packets in Banaskantha, apart from the Indian Army rescuing stranded people using boats.

North Gujarat has, so far, seen over 500,000 food packets being distributed in the affected areas.

Followed by the air survey, PM Modi was apprised of the rainfall and flooding situation across Gujarat by the state government officials in a meeting attended by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and READ MORE