Flood is a natural phenomenon or calamity which occurs when an area or piece of suddenly gets submerged under water. Some floods can occur suddenly and recede quickly while some take days or even months to recede. In Manipur, especially in the Imphal valley, floods are common phenomena which occur during rainy season. The major floods experienced by the state of Manipur had occurred in the year 1966, 1974, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1986 while the most devastating one occurred in the year 1989 which had inundated almost all of the Imphal valley.  There are many vulnerable points along the river banks of major rivers of Manipur valley and in these areas, erosion, sliding, depression or slumping of banks and bank cracks are quite common causing breach of river banks at these vulnerable points during high peak flood stages of the rivers.

pic:surrounding by water

Primary causes of flood in Manipur valley:

  1. increased urbanization
  2. change in land use patterns
  3. high intensity of rainfall in the hilly areas
  4. heavy runoff and low infiltration

Degraded watersheds in the upper reaches of the rivers increases the flow of water in the channels and rivers. Destruction of river basins in the valley results in breaching of river banks and along with poor drainage systems and in adequacies of channel conveyances causes flash flood in the valley areas. The flood that occurred in the recent years was somehow different from the earlier period as it has become more frequent and the people of the state got to witness a large scale flood that might not have never occurred in their lifetime.

Pic: Flooded road in Imphal valley

The changing rainfall pattern has its effect on the flood that is occurring the valleys of Manipur. The intensity of the rain has increased over the period as were the amount of rain received by the state during 2017 monsoon period.  Flooding over large areas have brought much harm to the people.

Pic: Rainfall pattern over the Year

Effect of the flood:

  1. submergence of land  under water makes people homeless
  2. destruction to thousands of hectares of agricultural land
  3. submergence of fish farms affecting the economy of the people
  4. landslide swept away many houses and wreaked havoc along the highways
  5. loss of communication as number of bridges have been washed away
  6. few buildings along the river side have also collapsed

Pic: Leftover of the Bridge

In the recent years, pre-monsoon rain has also become more intense and flood occurs even during this season. Flood as a fallout of the climate calamities is increasing every year and if measures to mitigate are not taken soon, it may turn out to be the new road to large scale calamity.