Why does it flood in Assam every year? 2.4 million people in 33 districts have been affected by the ongoing floods in Assam

Why does it flood in Assam every year? 2.4 million people in 33 districts have been affected by the ongoing floods in Assam

Assam which is the largest state of northeast India has periodically been experiencing floods since 2013. The floods have not only displaced thousands of people but also affected the wildlife of the eco-sensitive Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve. The Brahmaputra basin is one of the biggest riverine systems in Asia, originating from Tibet flowing through India and Bangladesh and draining into the Bay of Bengal. Owing to the rocky terrain and glacial origin, the river generates massive amounts of sediment.

As the river flows to a relatively flat plain (Assam), its speed slows and the excess silt gets deposited on its banks. Apart from this, more than 50 tributaries feed the river in addition to melting glaciers during summer months which is followed by heavy monsoons. As a result, the river naturally overflows during this period. Several man-made factors have also aggravated the flooding problem. Embankments, encroachments, and deforestation have all contributed to the problem. This year, COVID-19 and Cyclone Amphan have also aggravated the problem.

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