New Delhi: No matter how much we love rains and eagerly wait for monsoons, but the bitter fact remains that rains bring tears and sorrow for many in Assam. Every year the people of Assam fight a lost battle against the floods. The floods along the Brahmaputra region contributes to a major chunk of India’s flood statistics. 

The frequency and intensity of floods in Assam have witnessed an increase after the 1950 major earthquake. Before 1950, floods were recorded in the years 1897, 1910, 1911, 1915 and 1931, mainly in the north banks of the Brahmaputra.

After 1950, they were recorded in 1954,1962,1966,1972,1974,1977,1978,1984,1986,1987,1988,1989,1990,1991,1992,1993,1994, 1998, and the floods still continue to be a persistent problem of the region.

Reasons

The 1950 earthquake have caused some irreversible changes to the natural course of the river, river bed and the Brahmaputra valley. Here are some of the reasons of the flood mayhem in Assam.

•    Dynamic Monsoon Rainfall: The cause of frequent occurrence of flood in the region is the extremely dynamic monsoon rainfall regime due to the unique physiographic setting. Notably, the water yield of the Brahmaputra basin is among the highest in the world.


•    Unique environmental settings: The Brahmaputra basin has highly potent monsoon regime, weak geological formations, accelerated rates of erosion, rapid channel aggradations, massive deforestations, intense land use, population growth in the flood plain belt and ad-hoc type of temporary flood control measures.

ASSAM FLOOD STATISTICS

Sl No.

Year

Area Affected
(million ha)

Population Affected
(million)

Total Damage 
(Rs. Crore)

1

1953

0.080

0.410

2.66

2

1954

3.150

1.680

15.97

3

1955

1.410

0.800

3.71

4

1956

0.600

0.560

3.26

5

1957

0.400

0.310

4.52

6

1958

1.250

0.470

2.70

7

1959

1.040

1.760

8.39

8

1960

0.470

1.320

7.76

9

1961

0.190

0.250

0.57

10

1962

1.620

4.050

20.23

11

1963

0.580

0.830

2.06

12

1964

0.760

0.770

2.76

13

1965

0.600

0.240

0.69

14

1966

1.780

4.650

22.53

15

1967

0.260

0.680

2.44

16

1968

0.410

0.920

8.36

17

1969

0.810

1.470

8.46

18

1970

0.720

1.710

10.43

19

1971

0.360

0.670

5.63

20

1972

1.100

3.200

24.15

21

1973

2.750

2.290

16.41

22

1974

1.120

2.850

20.14

23

1975

0.010

0.030

0.34

24

1976

0.570

1.460

11.98

25

1977

1.100

4.550

31.09

26

1978

0.310

0.920

4.08

27

1979

0.670

2.350

28.14

28

1980

1.160

3.360

39.80

29

1981

0.460

1.360

7.40

30

1982

0.610

1.420

21.89

31

1983

0.730

2.260

56.18

32

1984

1.520

5.680

50.83

33

1985

0.650

2.380

54.84

34

1986

0.430

2.350

204.60

35

1987

1.530

10.490

346.60

36

1988

3.820

8.410

663.84

37

1989

0.690

2.403

0.00

38

1990

0.488

1.692

74.56

39

1991

0.997

5.307

191.15

40

1992

0.213

0.974

26.56

41

1993

1.348

5.261

0.215

42

1994

0.053

0.177

0.20

43

1998

0.972

4.698

700.00

In Lakhs

Sonakshi Kishore/JPN

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