39 lakh people displaced in India in 2020 due to climate disasters, conflicts: Report

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New Delhi, Jun 4 (PTI) As many as 39 lakh people in India were displaced in 2020 due to climate disasters and conflicts, making it the fourth worst-hit country in the world to have such a high number of internal displacements, a new report said on Friday.

The top three countries with high internal displacements last year were China, Philippines and Bangladesh, where over four million people were displaced, according to the State of India's Environment Report 2021 released by the Centre for Science and Environment.

The report stated that 76 per cent of the internal displacements globally in 2020 were triggered by climate disasters.

It said 4.05 crore people were displaced in the world that year, out of which, 3.07 crore people were displaced due to climate disasters and 98 lakh due to conflicts and violence.

In India, 39 lakh people were displaced in 2020 due to climate disasters, conflicts and violence, the report stated.

However, most of the displacements occurred due to major climate disasters like avalanches and landslides in Jammu and Kashmir, flood in Tamil Nadu, glacial lake outburst in Uttarakhand, Cyclone Nivar in Puducherry and Cyclone Burevi in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, it said.

It also said that an average of around 3.73 million people a year were displaced between 2008 and 2020, the majority by flooding during the monsoon.

“India is also prone to other sudden and slow-onset hazards, including earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, storm surges and droughts,” it said.

The report projected that India could see 2.3 million internal displacements every year due to earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, cyclonic winds and storms.

According to the report, the last decade saw the highest number of cyclonic storms over the north Indian Ocean since the 1970s. Between 1971 and 2020, 127 cyclonic storms hit India, out of which, the maximum cyclones (33) were recorded between 2011 and 2020.

Five cyclonic storms occurred in 2020 alone.

While Cyclone Amphan crossed the West Bengal coast over Sundarbans on May 20 this year and claimed 90 lives and about 4,000 livestock, Cyclone Nisarga crossed Maharashtra coast on June 3. It claimed four lives and 2,000 livestock.

Cyclone Nivar crossed Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts close to north of Puducherry and claimed 12 lives and 10,836 livestock over Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Lastly, Cyclone Burevi claimed nine lives and 200 livestock. Cyclone Gati made landfall over Somalia coast.

The report stated that 21 major weather events claimed over 1,374 lives in 2020. Heavy rains, floods and thunderstorms were responsible for over 51 per cent of the deaths. Lightning was responsible for 33 per cent of the deaths.

The data shared in the report revealed that out of the 1,374 deaths in the country, 300 people died in Bihar alone. In Uttar Pradesh, 189 people lost their lives, while 144 people died in Jharkhand due to extreme weather events.

In Assam, heavy rain and flood took 129 lives in 2020, while 73 people died in Maharashtra and 72 each in Madhya Pradesh and Kerala, it said.

Other states where people died due to extreme weather events are Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan, the report added.

PTI AG SRY