Heavy rainfall has thrown everyday life out of gear in Bihar and parts of Uttar Pradesh. The death toll has been on the rise constantly. As many as 80 people are believed to have died as a result of the floods caused due to incessant rain in Bihar. In Patna, flood water has made inroads into residential areas and hospitals. People can be seen wading through waterlogged alleys and streets.
Many trains serving the flood-hit regions stand canceled, while those still operating are running late. As many as 19 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed to undertake rescue operations in and around the flood-hit areas.
Bihar: Severe water-logging in Patna's SK Puri area, following heavy rainfall. pic.twitter.com/iNdPb4SrZM
— ANI (@ANI) September 30, 2019
According to the weather department, Patna is expected to witness heavy rainfall till September 30. Consequently, schools in the region have been ordered to remain shut. Also, alerts have been issued across various districts in the region. An orange alert has been put in place for Shivhar, Saaran, Begusarai, Setamani, Buxar, Madhubani, Muzaffarpur, and Jamui. Also, a yellow alert has been issued in Patna, Sheikhpura, Gopalganj, Champaran, and Champaran.
Patna’s second-largest medical facility, Nalanda Medical College and Hospital, has been inundated with floodwater, and the ICU wards have been hit quite badly. Many critically-ill patients had to be shifted to the Patna Medical College and Hospital.
— ANI (@ANI) September 29, 2019
The situation was reviewed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over a video conference meeting involving government officials who told him that the state received an average rainfall of 50 mm since September 27. Furthermore, the officials also stated that the situation in the districts of Nawada and Vaishali is alarming as they have received more than 200mm of rainfall. The CM said that efforts are being made to provide drinking water to all, and that community kitchens have been set up in the affected areas to provide food.
It certainly would not be an overstatement to say that climate change has had an impact on the rainfall patterns in India, in recent times. A significant rise in global temperature has changed rainfall patterns. At times, long periods of no rainfall is followed by a sudden burst of heavy rainfall. Extreme weather conditions have also had a drastic impact on agricultural produce.
The problem doesn’t end here. In fact, this is just the tip of the iceberg. According to a report by the Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment, rising global temperatures are expected to lead to an increase in incidents of floods within the country in the years to come.
Furthermore, the report goes on to state that the mean annual temperature in the Himalayan region is projected to rise up to 2.6 degrees Celsius, and also increase in intensity by 2-12% by 2030. Such a situation is powerful enough to trigger flash floods and large-scale landslides in the hilly region.
In all fairness, there’s a lot more to climate change than what meets the eye. A significant rise in the frequency of extreme weather events is just one of the many problems associated with climate change. According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, the number of heavy downpours and unexpected heat waves has soared at an unprecedented rate in the United States.
The recurring cases of wildfires in the Amazon rainforest gained a lot of media attention. Many Latin American countries came together to condemn the loss of forest cover in the region, but not much has been done so far to minimise the damage that has already taken place. Furthermore, matters have been made worse by recurring cases of excessive deforestation. It is high time that the world comes together to counter climate change. But, this is a job easier said than done because there are people who hold this belief that global warming and climate change is nothing more than a figment of one’s imagination.
The moment we step out of our ‘comfort zones’, we’ll realise that climate change and global warming are very much real. Therefore, we need to take it a bit more seriously.