Many of us have read in history books that Cherrapunji is the wettest place on the planet. However, in recent years, Mawsynram, a small hamlet near Cherrapunji has snatched away that title. Now Mawsynram has snatched another record from Cherrapunji.
The highest rainfall in a single day in June was held by Cherrapunji since 1966 was broken by Mawsynram last Friday, 17th June. Mawsynram received a whooping 1003.6 mm of rain on 17th June 2022, beating the previous record of 945.4 mm of rain way back in 1966. Neighbouring Cherrapunji too received 972 mm of rain following the 811mm and 673.6mm on the previous 2 days. Currently, Assam and Meghalaya are being battered by bountiful rains, causing flood-like situations in both the states.
Despite being the wettest places on Earth, Cherrapunji and Mawsynram both face acute water shortage during comparatively drier winter months. The monsoon rainfall has decreased in recent years and coupled with construction in the hills which blocks natural streams and water run-offs, there is a serious water crisis in south Meghalaya.
Again sudden cloudbursts are becoming frequent in the region dumping torrential amounts of rainfall which is speeding up the topsoil erosion in the region. That is why we see in recent years sudden landslides and floods in the Assam-Meghalaya region. Sudden floods in Haflong in Assam in May this year washed away an entire town, including trains, rail stations, bridges and tracks. As of now, there are severe flood conditions in various parts of Assam. Over 55 lakh people are affected, while the death toll rises up to 101 as of 23rd June. The south Assam districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi are the worst hit where water levels breached the embankments along the Kushiyara and Barak rivers. The western districts of Barpeta, Dhubri are also severely affected, and so are Nagaon, Dima Hasao, and Kamrup districts. The NDRF and SDRF have turned on the rescue operation throughout the state and have saved many lives amidst extremely heavy rainfall on the state.
Written by – Himadri Paul