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Floods and Droughts Strike India

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Issue: 21 Section: International News India Topics: climate change

August 25, 2004

Floods and Droughts Strike India

Northern India is experiencing what are being called the worst floods in two decades. For the past month, over 700 people have died, and millions of acres of farmland have been destroyed as a result of overflowing rivers fed by abnormally heavy rain in the region. Aggravating the effect of the heavy rainfall is the half-completed Sardar Sarovar Dam, which began overflowing into the Narmada river valley late last week.

At the same time, the south has been languishing without rain for months, particularly in the agriculturally crucial Haryana and Punjab states. The disastrous summer weather is feeding fears of disease brought by the floods and famine caused by the destroyed cropland and lack of rain.

The United Nations University's Institute for Environment and Human Security has recently stated that it expects threats of flood to double by 2050 due to deforestation, rising sea levels and climate change. Floods in the relatively undeveloped economies of Asia are believed to have caused in excess of $136 billion in damage between 1987 and 1997.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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