Monsoons in India are a contradictory force of nature. While the rains are extremely critical for the agriculture industry, to ensure a steady and sufficient harvest, extreme rains bring with them a vast range of calamities and disasters. The Assam and Bihar floods are one of the most blaring examples of the incredibly destructive power of the rains, and the unimaginable damage it causes to property and life. As of Thursday, July 26, the collective death toll had risen to 198, with countless more people remaining stuck or incapacitated, awaiting rescue. As a result, it is extremely important to be aware of the many unexpected disasters that can occur during the monsoons, and how best to deal with them.
- A volley of diseases
A whole host of diseases occur and spread during the monsoons, due to unhygienic conditions, and the widespread breeding of germs and bacteria, as well as disease carriers like mosquitoes, rats, flies, and more. Open containers filled with rainwater, such as large barrels, craters, and coconut shells, make for the perfect conditions for mosquitoes to breed, which spread diseases like Malaria, Dengue, and Chikungunya, among others. Consuming contaminated food or water can also lead to a volley of diseases like Typhoid, Cholera, Jaundice, Leptospirosis, Hepatitis A, Gastroenteritis, and more. In order to prevent such diseases, one must ensure that there are no exposed containers with stagnant water accumulating near the house, prevent consuming outside food and water as much as possible, and use disinfectants and anti-bacterial and anti-fungal solutions diligently, if one comes in contact with floodwater or disease carriers.
- Drowning due to flooding
Flooding is one of the most dangerous natural consequences of heavy monsoons, especially in areas with inefficient drainage systems. During such conditions, the possibility of loss of life due to drowning becomes especially high, as small water bodies like ponds overflow because of the excess water. The presence of countless open manholes further aggravates the potential for disaster, especially since the waterlogging makes it next to impossible to tell where the manholes are. Swimming during this season should be avoided as well, and in extreme conditions of flooding, one must try to stay indoors as much as possible, and avoid wading through heavily waterlogged areas on foot.
- Electrocution from exposed wires
Faulty or exposed wires present yet another terrifying opportunity for disaster during this season, with 3 individuals having died from electrocution in Mumbai, in the month of June itself. Lightning strikes often damage electrical structures and cables, leading to the high-voltage lines coming in contact with the floodwater, while power theft through wires illegally connected to electrical mains is yet another leading cause of casualties through electrocution. Ensuring that all electrical lines and connections in the home are in good condition and contacting the concerned authorities in case of any exposed wires observed are the best ways to prevent such casualties.
- Collapse of trees and structures
The monsoons pose yet another unexpected threat to human life in extreme cases, in the form of extensive damage to manmade structures as well as trees, causing them to collapse. Falling trees were the cause of three deaths in Malad, Andheri, and Govandi, in Mumbai, in a matter of just 24 hours, in the month of June, because of the heavy downpour. Furthermore, the torrential rains also cause damage to buildings, overbridges, transmission towers, and more, the collapse of which, leads to largescale death and destruction. Staying indoors continues to be the safest course of action, along with ensuring any structural weaknesses or damage to the building is addressed appropriately, beforehand.
- Road accidents
The rains also force oil to come up to the surface of roads, which makes them slick and wet, posing a significant danger to vehicles. Rash driving during this season exponentially increases the chances of road accidents, since excessive water already weakens the suspension and braking systems, to begin with. Following traffic rules and driving under the speed limit, while staying vigilant of the road conditions, is the best way to prevent such mishaps and disasters.
Being aware of the aforementioned potential disasters and taking the recommended precautions is the best way to avoid injuries and casualties. However, in case of emergencies that still occur, call 108 for ALS and BLS ambulance services in every state, which take care of transport for any medical emergency. These ambulances are promptly operated and managed in Punjab, Jharkhand, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh by Ziqitza Healthcare Ltd. (ZHL).