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July 14, 20203 min read

ClimaCell Forecast: Monsoons Threaten China and India

Update July 16, 2020: 

Incessant rains over Northeast India and Assam have increased flooding in the past few days. The basin of Brahmaputra River is at risk, with floods creeping to highest warning levels for Assam and the West Bengal coast. Assam has experienced one of the worst floods in years — 91 people have died due to landslides, floods and heavy inundation of rainwater. More Monsoon rains could worsen the situation in Assam and the Northeast in the coming days.

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This year’s Monsoon season has already caused severe flooding for countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

The recent rains coursing into the Brahmaputra and the Yangtze rivers that drain southeast to Bangladesh and China are quickly increasing and have already caused severe floods.

China is particularly hard hit with a dramatic increase in seasonal rains this year. The city of Wuhan (Yes, the same Wuhan from COVID-19) is under a threat for dam failure due to flooding of the Yangtze River. In total, floods in China have already displaced 2.24 million residents, with 141 people dead or missing.

Nepal was also impacted. Forty-seven people died and almost 50 are missing after heavy rainfall triggered flooding and landslides.

But the damage is not quite done. The rains are continuing, and there could be more lasting damage due to Monsoon floods in the coming weeks.

Monsoon Forecast for July

Heavy rain and flooding is predicted in the coming days for the Western foothills of the Himalaya into the Ganga basin. In the coming two weeks, higher than normal Monsoon precipitation is expected in Nepal and the Indian Mammalia in the Ganga drainage basin. River discharge will increase in the coming days as floodwater from upstream tributaries flow from Nepal to India (Utter Parades and Bihar), the Ghaghara (also called Karnali), and the Gandak and the Koshi Rivers.

Special attention should be focused on the Ghaghara River. During the week of July 23-30, the river discharge will reach the level associated with a 5-year return period, meaning that the river flow reaches this level once in 5 years. The areas that are expected to see such high flow in the Ghaghara river are between the city of Salempur to Kikandarpur (North-East from Patna, Bihar). The lower parts of the Koshi River, before it joins to the Ganga, will see two peaks of high flow (return periods of 2 to 5 years) on July 12 to 14 and then again between July 21 to 24.

Business impact: Businesses located in the at-risk areas must plan for flooding and potential damage. Power and utility companies specifically should be ready for emergency protocols in the coming weeks.

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