Floods in 4 states lead to economic loss of Rs 19,000 crore in past one year

Close to 20 million people displaced or affected

By Kiran Pandey, Vani Manocha
Published: Monday 13 October 2014


Since October 2013, when Phailin hit Odisha’s coast, India has witnessed a series of extreme weather events like cyclonic storms, cloudbursts, floods, droughts and hailstorms. These events not only destroyed lives and livelihood of people, but also caused a huge economic loss to the state and national economies.

In the period between October 2013 and October 2014, floods in three states—Odisha, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir—have affected more than 19.3 million people, suggest reports. Over 62,000 people have been affected by floods in Gujarat and Bihar in the same period.

Last October, Cyclone Phailin  claimed 44 lives and left behind a trail of destruction that severely crippled people’s livelihood. Over 256,600 homes were damaged and about 13.2 million people in 18,370 villages were affected. Since then Odisha has been hit thrice by cyclones and floods.

The recent floods in Kashmir, its worst ever in four decades, have left a scar on lives of close to five million people and the homes of nearly three million people was submerged in flood waters.

Crippled economies

Some other big numbers that can substantiate the extent of damage caused by these disasters are those that relate to losses to the economy as a whole. Floods in four states—Odisha, Assam, Meghalaya, J&K—this year have cost the country Rs 18,612 crore till now. 

According to ASSOCHAM estimates, devastating floods in J&K alone have caused an immediate loss of Rs 5,400 to 5,700 crore to the state's economy. Apart from this, estimated loss to hotels, trade, agriculture-horticulture, roads and bridges in the Jammu and Kashmir region is expected to be around Rs 2,630 crore. Infrastructure, including railways, power and communication in the hilly terrains, would have suffered a loss of about Rs 2,700-3,000 crore, says the national industry body.

Rehabilitation: a herculean task

While the rehabilitation cost estimates due to Hudhud may not have been assessed yet, the reconstruction cost following 2013’s Phailin (providing basic services and land acquisition) has been pegged at about Rs 2,800 crore. The Jammu and Kashmir government had recently sought a special financial package of Rs 44,000 crore for rehabilitation of flood-affected people.

Year 2014 that began with the occurrence of Arctic polar vortex, a phenomenon that brought unusual chill to North America and Europe, also brought freak hailstorms to India. These hailstorms that occurred in February and March put an end to farmers’ dreams of a good harvest in Maharashtra. While many farmers were yet to count the losses, another demon in the form of delayed and deficit monsoon knocked the doors of farmers across India.

Check out the table below to see more figures on how various spells of droughts and hailstorms, along with floods and cyclonic storms, have affected people across India this year.
Please add table from excel file.

All the numbers in the table have been sourced from various news reports

Time of
Of People
Cyclone (Phailin) Oct-14 Odisha The cyclone  left 44 people dead, damaged about 256,600 homes and affected about 13.2 million people  in over 18,370 villages The total damages and loss caused by Cyclone Phailin was estimated to be about Rs 890 crore
Floods September, 2014 Gujarat (Vadodara) Not available 20000 people were evacuated
Floods August, 2014 Odisha Paddy crops on 30,659 hectare and jute and vegetable farming on 6,566 hectare damaged in 509 villages in 156 gram panchayats 34 persons dead,  9.95 lakh people in 1,553 villages of 89 blocks in 23 districts affected 
Floods August, 2014 Bihar Not available 2.6 million people were affected, says the latest official Flood Situation report 
Floods August, 2014 Uttar Pradesh Not available 1.4 million people were affected  and 106 lives lost, says Flood Situation report. News reports also suggested that 60,000 people in 9 districts bordering Nepal were displaced
Floods August, 2014 Assam Economic loss worth Rs 2010 crore due to floods in 2014 Average loss of Rs 200 crore is reported every year Nearly 12 lakh people hit by floods
Floods September, 2014 Meghalaya Properties including road, houses, livestock and agriculture worth about Rs 2,000 crore damaged. 52 killed
Floods September, 2014 Jammu and Kashmir Close to 5 million people are affected by the floods in Jammu & Kashmir – 4.5 million in Kashmir valley and half a million in the Jammu region 260 dead, Devastating floods in Jammu and Kashmir have caused an immediate loss of Rs 5,400-5,700 crore to the state's economy
Landslide  July, 2014 Maharashtra (Pune district) Not available 153 people killed and 200 feared trapped as 44 houses in Malin village in the Ambegaon tehsil of Pune distrct were flattened
Cyclone April, 2014 Tripura (Agartala) Not available A tribal woman died, 1450 houses damaged and unspecified number of people displaced
Cyclone  April, 2014 Meghalaya Not available As many as 70 houses damaged
Cyclone - Hudhud October, 2014 Andaman and Nicobar Islands Not available  
      Not available  
Thunderstorm April, 2014 Gujarat (Ahmedabad) Not available 5 dead, over 100 injured
Storm 27 May,2014 Uttar Pradesh Not available 13 people killed
Storm 13-May-14 West Bengal (Jalpaiguri district) Not available One person killed, 3,000 houses destroyed
Floods Aug,  2014  West Bengal  Estimated damage worth Rs 1913.66 lakh, says Flood Situation Report  319,506 people affected, as per  flood situation report
Monsoon rain July, 2014 Kerala Crop loss worth Rs 11.20 crore 29 dead, 366 people evacuated
Unseasonal rain/hailstorm 13 March, 2014 Maharashtra (Nagpur district) 1.4 lakh hectares farmland damaged, state lost wheat crop over 2.32 lakh hectares Not available
Unseasonal Rainfall 06 March, 2014 Karnataka (Bellary taluk) Not available Horticultural crops (especially sapota) lost, over 480 hectares damaged
Drought May, 2014 Karnataka Not available 28 districts affected
Drought September, 2014 Uttar Pradesh Not available 44 districts affected

Cyclone Hudhud: Realtime IMD tracker, News, Government Action Plan, Policies, Twitter feeds along with global disaster tracker

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