Soil and Geology
Beginning on June 24 monsoon floods swept across the 27 districts of India’s Assam state. According to many sources, this has been the worst flooding India has seen since 2004. The floods have had devastating repercussions for the entire nation, killing 95 people and leaving an additional 2 million homeless. The state of Assam suffered most destruction because of its proximity to the Brahmaputra river. The floods began when monsoon rains caused the river to overflow. The rushing water destroyed approximately 2,000 rural villages in northeast India. Of the 95 people who lost their lives, some were swept away by floodwaters and others buried by landslides. According to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, nearly half a million people have taken shelter in relief camps. Others have resorted to building tents in the streets. Many, like Sabir Ali and his family, were forced out of their homes bringing with them only what they could carry. Although they managed to take refuge on higher ground, most of their belongings were swept away by the floodwaters. A recent report estimated that 370,000 residents fled their homes. As Prime Minister Singh initiates recovery efforts, approximately 5 billion rupees ($90 million US dollars) will be given to emergency funds. Helicopters have begun to drop food packets and drinking water to survivors. Speedboats have also been used to rescue entire villages and deliver them to higher ground. Many are fearful of the flood’s aftereffects. For instance, the floodwaters have severely damaged both croplands and railroads. Approximately 236 people have been killed during monsoon season this year.