Tragic Photos Of Floods In India

Photo: Associated Press
As world leaders meet in Paris to try to find a solution to climate change, parts of the world are already feeling the worst effects. Over the past week, southern India has been victim to horrific floods that have killed at least several hundred people.

The southeast Indian state of Tamil Nadu and its capital, Chennai, have suffered the most. Many parts of the city are submerged in eight to 10 feet of water, trapping citizens on rooftops and in relief camps with limited supplies of food and water.

October through December is "retreating monsoon" season in India, when southeast areas of the country see the heaviest rains. With the combination of an El Niño year and the effects of global warming, this year’s rainfall has been at devastating levels. India’s Environment Minister, Prakash Javadekar, told Indian newspaper The Hindu that he blamed the heavy flooding on climate change caused by industrialized nations. “What is happening in Chennai is the result of what has happened for 150 years in the developed world. That is what has caused 0.8 degrees Celsius temperature rise,” he said.

According to The World Bank, India is incredibly vulnerable to climate change. The nation has already seen threatening effects of climate change, with increased temperatures and sea levels along with “extreme” weather events. Those trends are only projected to increase further in the 21st century. Monsoon rainfall, like what caused this week’s horrific flooding, is expected to increase by up to 40% by the end of this century.

It’s an increase that the people of India can’t handle. CBS News reports that this week’s flooding has killed nearly 300 people in Chennai alone, including 18 patients of the city's hospital, who died when flooding knocked out the facility's power. Some people have been killed by electric shocks from flooded power boxes, leading authorities to cut off electricity in some areas in the name of public safety. The flood waters are also filling up with dangerous sewage, due to poor drainage in the city, breeding the possibility of dangerous illness and contamination.

As the waters begin to recede, people are braving the possibility of moving about, but risks are still high. Here’s what the tragedy looks like to those who are living through it.
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Photo: Associated Press.
A young man carries a frightened dog above waters that would drown the animal.
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Photo: Associated Press.
People stranded by the flooding wait on rooftops and terraces for supplies and rescue. The army has evacuated 18,000 people, but up to 3 million may be cut off from aid.
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Photo: R Senthil Kumar/Press Trust of India/Associated Press.
Cars, rickshaws, and other vehicles float through the Kotturpuram area of Chennai. The flooding has disrupted transportation routes and closed roads, leaving the city cut off.
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Photo: Associated Press
Indian Army soldiers rescue two women. The government has deployed army personnel as well as boats, relief materials, and even a warship.
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Photo: Associated Press
Stranded people in Chennai line up for relief food, still ankle-deep in water.
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Photo: Arun Sankar K/Associated Press.
A grieving woman mourns the death of her son, who drowned in the flooding.
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Photo: Associated Press.
Men carry children to safety through dangerous floodwaters.
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Photo: Associated Press
One family has only what they can carry — including the children.
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Photo: Associated Press.
Government response to the floods has been accused of being weak, leaving many people reliant on the aid of volunteers, like the ones manning this rescue boat.
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Photo: R Senthil Kumar/Press Trust of India/Associated Press.
Army soldiers rescue a man trapped by rising floodwaters.
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