In India a hot dry summer coupled with heat waves and record temperatures has had the country looking forward to the seasonal monsoon rains.
In India a hot dry summer coupled with heat waves and record temperatures has had the country looking forward to the seasonal monsoon rains. The monsoons have started to arrive this month (July) but reports from India say that in some areas the rains have only meant further problems.
SYNOPSIS: At the Majuli Island in the Sibsagar district of Assam the area's main river, the Bhramputra, has been unable to cope with a heavy onslaught of monsoon rain which has left town flooded. Reporters say the river level is receding but the unpredicted flooding has eroded valuable land.
Farmers in the area have been particularly affected. Majuli is India's largest river island and covers more than 800 square kilometres with a population in excess of a hundred thousand people. This flood has affected more than a quarter of the population. Annual crops and paddy fields have been completely destroyed. Assam state-government officials say it is a serious problem and report that five square kilometres of the river island have eroded into the river. Many villages have been completely flooded and so far more than 50 families have been evacuated to more safe areas. State politicians and officials have recently visited the area and have yet to decide what action should be taken.
Meanwhile life for the local villagers goes on. Reports say it will take a long time for the area to recover. Many houses will have to be rebuilt. Only weeks ago parts of India were going through some of the worst heat waves seen for many years. Electricity supplies were reported to be near an all-time low with many hydro-electric power stations not functioning because of the lack of water. However, correspondents in India say the country had been waiting for rain but in this case it had multiplied problems.