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  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
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  • Complexity ?
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As of 20 October 2020, over 22 million people across the country had been affected by the Southwest Monsoon, an annual wet season that generally lasts from mid-June to early October. This year, 18 states and two union territories were impacted, with over 1,600 deaths as of 20 October. The worst- affected states are Bihar, with over 8.3 million people affected, and Assam, with 5.7 million affected. Heavy rainfall has also resulted in landslides in Kerala, Assam, Karnataka, and Arunachal Pradesh.?

India’s north-eastern state of Assam has been hard-hit by monsoon rains and flooding since May 2020. Seasonal flooding affects Assam each year, but heavy rainfall has already caused three waves of river floods in 2020. The Brahmaputra and eight other rivers in Assam have reached above-danger levels, and all 33 districts in the state have been affected by the three waves of floods. In Bihar, over 1,200 villages have been affected, and 550,000 people had been evacuated as of 20 October. Rising water levels have forced thousands to flee their homes, with agricultural land severely impacted.?

The response is further complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing in shelters is particularly hard to enforce, and the number of shelters needed is greater than usual because they cannot be used at full capacity. A number of people affected by floods, particularly in Orissa, were unwilling to go to shelters because they were afraid of catching COVID-19.  As of 20 October, over 7 million cases had been registered countrywide, with over 115,000 deaths. Floodwaters have also spread discarded medical waste from hospitals and COVID-19 care centres, including used masks and other personal protective equipment.?

Latest Developments


There are no significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.

ACAPS' team is daily monitoring the impact of COVID-19. Find more information related to the outbreak here.

Key priorities


Shelter: Hundreds of thousands of houses were destroyed across the country, but there is no clear indication of the number of people who need emergency shelter.?

Health: Flooded populations are at high risk of waterborne diseases, including dengue and malaria. The estimated number of people at risk is unclear.?

Livelihood: Thousands of acres of crops have been damaged by flooding, impacting the harvesting season and livelihood opportunities.?   

Information gaps


There is limited available information on sectoral needs of people affected by the floods.

There is limited information regarding specific needs of people across different states because of challenges in running assessments as a result of the scale of the flooding.