1,648 people died every year during 1953-2016 due to floods or heavy showers, shows recent CWC data

1,648 people died every year during 1953-2016 due to floods or heavy showers, shows recent CWC data


The Central Water Commission (CWC) has released the state-wise and national-level annual data on human and economic costs associated with floods or excessive rainfall for the last 64 years at a time when the North East is devastated by nature's fury.

That data indicates that on an average 3.2 crore Indians were affected by floods or excessive rainfall every year between 1953 and 2016. Floods or downpours took a heavy toll on human lives (1,648 per annum) as well as cattle lives (94,104 per annum) during this period.

According to the latest available CWC data, which was released in May this year, roughly 2.6 crore Indian citizens on an average were annually affected by floods or excessive rainfall between 2007 and 2016. However, in the previous decade viz. 1997-2006, a much higher number of Indians (viz. 3.4 crore citizens) on an average were affected annually by the natural calamity.
 
At the national level, on an average almost 1,904 people every year faced death in the period 2007-2016 owing to floods or heavy showers, whereas in the preceding 10 years viz. 1997-2006 the corresponding figure was nearly 1,695 per annum.
 
Although a normal monsoon is considered as good for agriculture, excessive rainfall brings about huge losses to the economy, including crop damage. In value terms, the economic damage to crops in the country that was caused by floods or heavy showers amounted to Rs. 5,430.1 crore every year on an average during the period 2007-2016, whereas in the period 1997-2006, the corresponding figure was less than half of that viz. Rs. 2,429.3 crore per year. In 2015, the financial damage to crops in the country amounted to Rs. 17,044 crore. Please check the interactive chart -1 for further details.



In terms of value, although the financial damage to houses (viz. private property) done by floods or excessive rainfalls was Rs. 2,636.8 crore per annum on an average between 2007 and 2016, in the period 1997-2006, the corresponding figure was less than half of that viz. Rs. 1,031.1 crore per year. In 2009, the economic damage to houses in India because of floods or heavy rains amounted to Rs. 10,809.8 crore. Please see the interactive chart-1. 

In terms of value, although floods or downpours caused a financial damage to the tune of Rs. 13,894.3 crore annually between 2007 and 2016 to public utilities in India, during the period 1997-2006, the corresponding figure stood at Rs. 4,112.0 crore per year. In 2013, the financial damage to public utilities in the country as a result of floods or excessive rainfall amounted to Rs. 38,937.8 crore. Please check the interactive chart-1.

Thus, in nominal terms, floods or excessive rainfall caused overall economic damage to the tune of Rs. 21,961.2 crore annually between 2007 and 2016 to crops, houses and public utilities as a whole in the country, whereas in the period 1997-2006, the corresponding figure amounted to Rs. 7,572.4 crore per year. Please check the dynamic chart-1 for further details.



When adjusted to changes in the World Bank's wholesale price index (2010 = 100) over the years, it could be observed that in terms of real value (viz. at constant prices), floods or heavy rains caused overall economic damage to the tune of Rs. 198.2 crore per annum in the period 2007-2016 to crops, houses and public utilities altogether in India, whereas in the period 1997-2006, the corresponding figure stood at Rs. 116.0 crore per year. Please check the interactive chart-2 for further details.

Flooding in Assam and its impact
 
The latest available data of the CWC indicates that on an average 41 people lost their lives every year in Assam in the period 2007-2016 as a result of floods or heavy showers, whereas in the preceding 10 years viz. 1997-2006 the corresponding figure stood at roughly 85 per year. There is no data available on human lives lost on account of floods or downpours for the year 2015.  

In value terms, the damage to crops in Assam that was caused by floods or heavy showers stood at almost Rs. 5 crore annually during the period 2007-2016, whereas in the period 1997-2006, the corresponding figure was around Rs. 107 crore every year. There is no data available on economic damage to crops in Assam that was caused by floods or heavy showers for the years 2015 and 2016.  

In terms of value, although the economic damage to houses (viz. private property) in Assam done by floods or excessive rainfalls was around Rs. 1.4 crore annually between 2007 and 2016, in the period 1997-2006, the corresponding figure stood at almost Rs. 13.7 crore per year. There is no data available on financial damage to houses in Assam that was caused by floods or heavy showers for the years 2015 and 2016.

In terms of value, although floods or heavy rains caused a financial damage to the tune of Rs. 325.8 crore every year between 2007 and 2016 to public utilities in Assam, in the period 1997-2006, the corresponding figure was Rs. 91.2 crore per annum. In 2012, the financial damage to public utilities as a result of floods or heavy rainfall in the state amounted to Rs. 3,200.3 crore.

References

Report by Central Water Commission entitled Flood Damage Statistics (state-wise and for the country as a whole) from 1953 to 2016, released on 10th May, 2018, please click here to access  

Flood situation grim in Assam, improves in Jammu & Kashmir, DD News, 2 July, 2018, please click here to read more 


Image Courtesy: UNDP India




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