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We’ve been watching Fay dodge back and forth over Florida and before that the Carribean islands, leaving flooding and a dozen or so deaths. The people of north eastern India should have it so lucky. Monsoon rains have upped the ante from “just usual flooding,” to a “catastrophe. Over one million are cut off from food supplies and from the other modes and mechanisms of daily life.

Kohsi River

“It is not a normal flood, but a catastrophe,” said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after making an aerial survey of the ravaged districts.

Kumar said more than 1 million people were cut off from the rest of the country because the floods had washed away roads and made railway lines impassable.

India’s monsoon season, which lasts from June to September, brings rain vital for the country’s farmers but also massive destruction. Floods, mudslides, collapsing houses and lightning strikes kill hundreds of people every year.

This year’s monsoon has killed more than 330 people in India so far. In 2007, monsoon floods killed more than 2,200 people across South Asia and left 31 million others homeless, short of food or with other problems. The United Nations called last year’s floods the worst in living memory.”

Monsoon Flooding