South Asia Climate Crisis
Millions Flee 'Worst Ever' Floods -- 35 Million Affected

London, UK - 3 August 2007, 19:30 GMT

Dear ATCA Colleagues

[Please note that the views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. ATCA conducts collective Socratic dialogue on global opportunities and threats.]

After USA, UK, China and Pakistan, it is India, Nepal and Bangladesh's turn: 100s have died & millions have been left homeless by floods across South Asia.

More than 1,000 people have been killed or injured by 'worst ever' monsoon floods in South Asia in the last two weeks, while more than 20 million remain homeless or marooned in their villages, many without access to basic health care. The devastation comes on the heels of severe flooding in southern Pakistan, caused when Cyclone Yemyin struck the country's provinces of Baluchistan and Sindh in late June. In June and July, many parts of the UK were flooded and so were parts of the US and China.

Aid agencies say the "dead and injured" figure is expected to rise sharply. The threat of water-borne diseases is rising, with many villages cut off for days. So far about 20 million people are known to have fled their homes or are trapped in villages at risk from building collapse, landslides, snakebites, drowning and disease.

More than 35 million people are affected in the crowded and largely impoverished region. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said the floods are causing havoc and chaos and could be the worst in living memory in some areas. "The sheer size and scale of flooding and massive numbers of people affected poses an unprecedented challenge to the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian assistance," according to UNICEF.

Water Water Everywhere

Across the subcontinent more than half of Bangladesh is flooded, and nearly 7 million of the 20 million affected there have been marooned or forced from their homes. India appears to have been hit even harder by the latest inundations with floodwaters striking the densely-populated and poor states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh as well as the more remote Assam. In Nepal, nearly a 100 people have been killed by flooding and landslides, and nearly 10,000 families have been displaced with more than a quarter million people in 32 districts affected in the last two weeks. More than 300,000 hectares (740,000 acres) of crops have been affected.

In India's north-eastern state of Assam nearly 3 million are displaced or marooned -- more than 10 percent of the oil-and-tea-producing state's population. Officials there warned of outbreaks of diarrhoea and malaria. Military helicopters and boats have tried to bring food, drinking water and medicines to them.

In the East of India -- in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state -- hundreds of thousands have been displaced or stranded.

Rains have also affected major cities of Mumbai and the Indian capital of New Delhi. In western India, flights and trains have been delayed by monsoon rains in the financial hub of Mumbai, where thousands waded knee-deep in water.

Near India's eastern city of Kolkata, a court-appointed panel said that state-run oil firms whose compounds were flooded had pumped out industrial waste and oil along with water, causing water logging on roads and in several neighbourhoods.


We look forward to your further thoughts, observations and views. Thank you.

Best wishes

For and on behalf of DK Matai, Chairman, Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance (ATCA)

ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance is a philanthropic expert initiative founded in 2001 to resolve complex global challenges through collective Socratic dialogue and joint executive action to build a wisdom based global economy. Adhering to the doctrine of non-violence, ATCA addresses asymmetric threats and social opportunities arising from climate chaos and the environment; radical poverty and microfinance; geo-politics and energy; organised crime & extremism; advanced technologies -- bio, info, nano, robo & AI; demographic skews and resource shortages; pandemics; financial systems and systemic risk; as well as transhumanism and ethics. Present membership of ATCA is by invitation only and has over 5,000 distinguished members from over 120 countries: including 1,000 Parliamentarians; 1,500 Chairmen and CEOs of corporations; 1,000 Heads of NGOs; 750 Directors at Academic Centres of Excellence; 500 Inventors and Original thinkers; as well as 250 Editors-in-Chief of major media.

The views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. Please do not forward or use the material circulated without permission and full attribution.

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