Why Assam faces floods every year

3 min read

News: Assam is reeling from another devastating flood.Over 35 lakh people across 28 of the state’s 33 districts are now affected due to flooding.

Facts:

Floods: It is an overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry.Floods can happen during heavy rains when ocean waves come on shore, when snow melts quickly or when dams break.

Reasons for annual floods in Assam:

  • Flood Prone Area: Assam is a flood-prone state with its vast network of rivers.The flood prone area of the country as a whole stands at about 10.2 % of the total area of the country but flood prone area of Assam is 39.58 % of the area of the state which is four times the national flood prone area.
  • Earthquakes/Landslides: Assam and other parts of the northeastern region are prone to frequent earthquakes which causes landslides.The landslides and earthquakes send in a lot of debris in the rivers causing the river bed to rise.
  • Brahmaputra: Brahmaputra River is braided and unstable in its entire reach in the Assam Valley except for a few places.The instability of the river is attributed to high sediment charge and steep slopes.
  • Bank Erosion: The bank erosion caused by the river Brahmaputra, Barak and its tributaries in the state has also caused water to overflow in the low-lying areas every time a flood occurs.
  • Dams: The key cause of floods in Assam region is also unregulated releasing of water from dams situated uphill. 
  • Man made factors: The man-made factors include habitation, deforestation, improper infrastructure planning of Guwahati city, population growth in catchment areas and building of embankments which disrupted Brahmaputra’s natural flow.