What does the climate India report say about extreme weather events in North-east?

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an extreme weather event is an event that is rare at a particular place and time of year. Some extreme events may be the result of an accumulation of weather or climate events, for example, droughts and floods. A changing climate leads to changes in the frequency, intensity, spatial extent, duration, and timing of weather and climate extremes which can result in unprecedented extremes. 

In November, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) released an assessment of extreme weather events in India from January to September 2022. The report stated that India saw extreme weather events on 88% of the days in the first nine months of the year. India recorded its warmest March in over a century. The report stated that IMD defines extreme weather events as lightning and storms, cold waves, heavy rains, floods, landslides, heat waves, cloudbursts, and cyclones.

Read more: Climate India 2022 : An assessment of extreme weather events

Extreme weather events in North-eastern India

The Northeastern region of India recorded extreme weather events on 171 of the 273 days. The events claimed 783 lives and damaged 256,517 hectares of crop area, and 318,676 houses, and killed 55,3999 animals.

During the month of February, this region experienced abnormally cold daytime and nighttime temperatures. In May, Assam and Meghalaya faced heavy rainfall triggering floods. The catastrophic floods in Northeast India continued till June. And, Assam and Meghalaya experienced their wettest June since 1901. After the heavy rainfall, the region recorded its driest July in 121 years.

Read more: Assam State Disaster Management Authority

According to reports, almost 5,70,000 people are affected by the flood in Assam and 40,000 people in Meghalaya. The constant floods in Assam and Meghalaya have uprooted thousands of lives and affected crops. According to Assam’s Water Resource Department, the average annual loss due to floods in Assam is estimated to be around Rs. 200 crores. 

Read more: Flood & Erosion Problems | Water Resources | Government Of Assam, India

Recently on 27th December 2022, a massive hailstorm swept through Assam which damaged nearly 4,400 houses affecting 18,000 people according to PTI. The hailstorm in this region is very rare and has also damaged 172 hectares of standing crops.

Read more: Hailstorm leaves a trail of damage in upper Assam – Sentinelassam

The study has found that if Assam’s pace of readiness and climate adaptation doesn’t pick up, it will require 943 years of flood protection measures to prevent a crisis like the one it is currently experiencing and Meghalaya will need 966 years.

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