History of Floods in India: Cities that get floods in India every year

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Every year various parts of India get flooded during monsoon. Before talking about these places, let’s discuss a little history of floods in India. Flood is an overflow of water that submerges land which is usually dry. It is an area of study of the discipline hydrology and is of significant concern in the agriculture, civil engineering, and public health sectors.

floods in india

Why do floods occur? Cities with floods in India every year

Floods occur when an extreme volume of water is carried by rivers, creeks, and other geographical features into areas where water cannot be drained adequately. This is why during times of heavy rainfall drainage in residential areas is not adequate. The unchecked civil development severely disrupts the functionality of an otherwise acceptable drainage system.

Must Read: History of Major Cyclones that have hit India

As for a fact, floods cause extremely large numbers of fatalities in almost every country. Rains in India result in overflowing rivers, lakes, and dams, which turn into floods and ultimately cause large amounts of damages to people’s lives and property.

Which states and cities witness floods in India every year?

The change in climate plays a very important role in causing large-scale floods across central India. Just during 1901-2015, India has witnessed a three-fold rise in widespread extreme rainfall events, across central and northern India including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Odisha, Jharkhand, Assam, and parts of Western Ghats – Goa, north Karnataka, and South Kerala. While there are so many states that have been affected by floods in the past, here we’ll discuss those cities that witness floods every year.


assam flood image

Assam witnesses flood every year during the monsoon season. This affects around 145 villages across 8 districts of the state, with nearly 63000 people facing the consequences. The flood-prone area in Assam as assessed by the RBA is 31.05 Lakh Hectares against the total area of 78.523 Lakh Hectares. This makes about. 39.58 % of the total land area of Assam. This signifies that the flood-prone area of Assam is four times the national mark of the flood-prone area of the country.

Assam is a state with a vast network of rivers and that is one of the main reasons why it is prone to natural disasters like floods. Every year, the Brahmaputra and Barak River with over 50 numbers of tributaries feeding them, cause flood devastations with a new monsoon period. The average annual loss due to flood in Assam is to the tune of Rs 200.00 crores.

Also Read: 10 Worst Earthquakes to have rocked India in the past

Cities with floods in India every year

Biharbihar flood

Bihar is India’s most flood-prone state, with nearly 76% population in North Bihar living under recurring threat of flood devastation. This state of Bihar makes up around 16.5% of India’s flood-affected area every year and 22.1% of India’s flood-affected population.

The plains of Bihar are drained by a number of rivers that have catchments in the steep and geologically nascent Himalayas. Kosi, Gandak, Burhi Gandak, Bagmati, Kamla Balan, Mahananda, and Adhwara Group of rivers, all these originate in Nepal and carry high discharge and very high sediment load which drops down in the plains of Bihar.

Most common cities with floods in India

Mumbaimumbai flood

Rainfalls in monsoon majorly affect the city of Mumbai, thus causing floods. Every year, with all the news and updates about this city’s flooding situation, one does not help but wonder is the outdated drainage system and depletion of mangroves crippling the city’s natural defenses against floods?

“City governance seems more about controlling the rivers than about understanding them and allowing its natural dynamic flow. There is no systematic thorough study done, no designed city master plan that seeks engagement with rivers. Rivers are viewed more as a flood problem.” – Vikram Pawar, Conservation Expert, Water Environs

In simple words, this city is flooded with water every monsoon due to reasons like improper desilting drains, vanishing rivers and streams, concrete waste dumping and filling up of ponds and natural catchment areas for the floods, etc… The estimated loss by the United States Trade and Development Agency was recorded at Rs 14000 crores due to flooding in Mumbai between 2005-2015.

Karnatakakarnataka flood

Karnataka receives heavy water discharge from the Maharashtra reservoir, the North Karnataka districts of Belagavi, Bijapur, Raichur, Kalburgi, Yadgir, and Uttara Kannada, all of which severely impact by the flood discharge. Although floods don’t regularly occur in this state, it witnesses the impact of floods every few years.

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