Some of the worst flooding in more than a decade is now being reported across southern Asia as a result of summer monsoon rains. So far there have been more than 240 fatalities in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh since the flooding began, and up to 10 million people have been displaced by the widespread flooding. Nepal has been hit hard by flash floods and mudslides. In India, the hardest
hit states are Assam and Bihar. Twenty-two of the 24 districts in Assam are
reported to be under water as the Brahmaputra River continues to rise.
Meanwhile, in Bangladesh the worst hit province is Sylhet where the Surma and
Kushiyara Rivers have flooded large areas. Sylhet borders the Indian
state of Assam.
Since its launch in November 1997, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite has been providing estimates of rainfall over the global Tropics with unprecedented coverage. Armed with both passive and active sensors, TRMM is able to
cover vast areas of the Tropics where rainfall is poorly measured such as
over oceans and over land areas where radar coverage is poor or lacking. The
TRMM-based, near-real-time Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (MPA) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center monitors rainfall over the global
tropics. MPA rainfall totals for the period July 5-12, 2004, are shown for
southern Asia. Widespread areas of 10 inches or more (red areas) occur along
southern Nepal, northern and northeastern India, and northern and southeastern
Bangladesh. Some of the highest totals, approaching 16 inches (dark red areas), occured over central Nepal at the base of the Himalayan Mountains and over
the Khasi Hills near the border between province of Sylhet in Bangladesh and
the state of Assam, India.
TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.