India is underwater. Monsoon killed hundreds of people and dozens of rhinos

Il monsone annuale è stato particolarmente violento e ha devastato il centro-nord del Paese, colpendo soprattutto gli stati più poveri.

At least 150 people have died and millions have been displaced. Villages have been completely destroyed and more than 20 rare one-horned rhinoceroses (Rhinoceros unicornis) have drowned. These are the appalling figures of the monsoon that hit India with unprecedented strength, submerging the country, literally.

Abitazione sommersa in India
Indian woman outside her home submerged by floods in the state of Assam (ANUPAM NATH/AP)

The monsoon has hit the poorest areas

Over the past three weeks, the monsoon has hit the states of Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Western Bengal and Maharashtra, some of India’s poorest. The inhabitants, which live in rudimental and vulnerable houses, couldn’t do anything to address the overflowing of streams and floods.

People forced to flee their villages due to floods (ANUPAM NATH/AP)

Millions of people have been evacuated

Water has submerged entire villages and forced a huge number of people to flee what was left of their houses. India’s civil protection is relentlessly working to rescue citizens and help them reach the shelters provided by the government. According to officials, 1.1 million people have been displaced in the state of Assam alone.

Salvataggio di un piccolo rinoceronte indiano
One-horned rhino calf being rescued (AFP/GETTY IMAGES/SUBHAMOY BHATTACHARJEE)

Dozens of animals have drowned

Besides causing the death of at least 150 people and displacing millions of people, heavy rains have also dramatically affected wildlife. The Kaziranga National Park, in the state of Assam, has been heavily hit and 80 per cent of its area is now under water. The park is a World Heritage Site, is home to the highest number of Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris), and is home to 60 per cent of the world’s one-horned rhinos. Globally, there are only 2,544 rhinos left and, according to PTI News, 21 individuals have drowned in India along with hundreds of other animals.

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