In Northern India, CRS Fights Flooding on Two Fronts

Flooding in India

Traveling by car, by boat, and on foot, CRS and its diocesan partner teams have already reached hundreds of families with buckets, water purification tablets, soap and more. Photo by CRS Staff

Catholic Relief Services continues to respond to severe flooding in two areas of northern India, where thousands of people have lost homes, crops, livestock and more.

Earlier this month, major rivers overflowed in an area called Uttar Pradesh, flooding hundreds of villages and breaching embankments. Thousands of people were evacuated to government relief centers and thousands of acres of crops were submerged. Though some villagers have returned home, many have lost property.

“At a time when the monsoons are normally coming to an end, weather forecasts continue to predict substantial rainfall, and additional flooding in the coming days,” says Deepti Pant, State Representative for CRS India in Uttar Pradesh. “Inhabitants of the area are on high alert.”

In a region called Uttarakhand, which like Uttar Pradesh is near Nepal, continuous rain has caused heavy flooding and landslides for the last four days. Over 500 miles of highway are blocked in different places, cutting the area off from supplies from major cities like Delhi. The rains, floods, and landslides have also disrupted power supplies, water sources and communication in the area. Many homes collapsed from the rains and floods, and in areas near a major dam, some houses are submerged. If the dam overflows, massive damage is expected.

To keep villagers in Uttar Pradesh from getting sick from polluted water, CRS has been distributing hygiene kits with buckets, water purification tablets, soap and more. Traveling by car, by boat, and on foot, CRS and its diocesan partner teams have already reached hundreds of families. In Uttar Pradesh, CRS also plans to build bathing cubicles and temporary latrines. In Uttarakhand, CRS is working with its diocesan partners to assess what people need.

“The monsoon rains this year in Uttar Pradesh have been heavy, steady and relentless,” says Ms. Pant. “People are going to need a lot of help.”

–Compiled from field reports

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