Bihar suffered the most – with 650 deaths – due to various extreme weather conditions in the country last year, a compilation by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) from media and government reports showed.
An official statement issued by the IMD showed that almost 1,560 people died in 2019 due to unusual weather events.
These include heavy rain and floods, heat wave, lightning, thunderstorm and hailstorm.
The year 2019 was the seventh warmest recorded in the country since 1901, the statement showed. This was substantially lower than the highest warming observed over India during 2016, it added.
In 2019, the IMD statement said that eight cyclonic storms formed over the seas against the normal of five. “Heavy rain and flood-related incidents reportedly claimed over 850 lives from different parts of the country during the pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon periods. Of these, 306 lives were lost from Bihar alone,136 from Maharashtra, 107 from Uttar Pradesh, 88 from Kerala, 80 from Rajasthan and 43 from Karnataka,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, in a related event, the Centre on Monday approved the release of Rs 5,908.56 crore to seven states, including Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Assam, as assistance for the damage caused due to various calamities last year.
The home ministry, in a statement, said the decision was taken at a meeting of a high-level committee (HLC), chaired by Union home minister Amit Shah.
The HLC approved additional central assistance of Rs 5,908.56 crore to seven states from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). Of this, Rs 616.63 crore will be given to Assam, Rs 284.93 crore to Himachal Pradesh, Rs 1,869.85 crore to Karnataka, Rs 1,749.73 crore to Madhya Pradesh, Rs 956.93 crore to Maharashtra, Rs 63.32 to Tripura and Rs 367.17 crore to Uttar Pradesh for floods, landslides or cloudburst during the monsoon season, the statement said.
Earlier, the central government released an interim financial assistance of Rs 3,200 crore to four states – Rs 1,200 crore to Karnataka, Rs 1,000 crore to Madhya Pradesh, Rs 600 crore to Maharashtra and Rs 400 crore to Bihar.
During 2019-20, the government released Rs 8,068.33 crore to 27 states as central share from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).