Earlier in September, heavy rains caused devastating floods in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, nestled in the extreme north of the country among the Himalayan mountains. The torrential rain has claimed at least 280 lives, and stranded hundreds of thousands of residents. While it is impossible to attribute a single weather event to the effects of climate change, many scientists think that the coming years will hold more heavy rain events for the Indian subcontinent, separated by longer dry spells. In this instance, the extreme weather was exacerbated by a lack of disaster preparation and flood forecasting.
To get a sense of just how devastating these floods are, use the slider on the photos below to compare satellite images of the region before and after the deluge, sourced from Google’s Crisis Map (hat tip to Quartz for pointing us toward this resource).
Nehru Park in Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir, is swallowed up by Dal Lake.
As of this weekend, the damage from the floods has been estimated at $1 billion.
The Jhelum River—a tributary of the Indus River, which itself was the center of severe flooding in 2010 that killed 2,000 people in Pakistan—overflows.
The region received up to 15.75 inches of rain in a single day, the heaviest rainfall seen in 50 years.
Srinagar’s Bakshi Stadium filled up with floodwaters.
Many Srinagar residents were trapped on the roofs of their houses by floodwaters that rose as high as 18 feet.
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