Flooding downpours to threaten endangered rhinos as India monsoon continues

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, AccuWeather meteorologist
July 11, 2017, 1:00:12 PM EDT

Monsoon flooding will continue to threaten people and animals across northeastern India this week.

The monsoon has already caused deadly flooding in northeast India including at least 28 people in Assam state, according to the Associated Press.

The heavy rainfall in Assam has also flooded the Kaziranga National Park which is home to the world’s largest one-horned rhinoceros population.

Kaziranga National Park has the world's largest population of the one-horned rhinoceros and is home to many other wildlife. (AP Photo/ Anupam Nath)


The one-horned rhino is currently facing a high risk of extinction in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

The flooding has forced animals to flee to higher ground to escape the floodwaters; however, not all animals have been able to escape as a rhino was found dead in the rising waters over the weekend.

Aside from the danger of the floodwaters, the threat of poachers hunting the rhinos is elevated since the animals are unable to flee through flooded areas and some may be forced off the protected park acreage.

One horned Rhinos take shelter on higher ground of a flooded Kaziranga national park in Kaziranga, 250 kilometers (156 miles) east of Gauhati, India, Monday, July 10, 2017. (AP Photo/ Anupam Nath)


The park has employed the use of drones to follow the rhinos to areas that can't be viewed by park rangers during the flooding. The drones are also being used to detect any poachers in the area.

Monsoon flooding last year resulted in the death of 17 one-horned rhinos within the park, according to the Associated Press.

A monsoon low that contributed to the flooding in Assam will track from north-central India into parts of northwestern India this week causing a significant risk for flooding.


Areas from Mumbai to Vadodara, Indore and Rajkot will all be at risk for flooding as the week progresses.

The heaviest rain will fall across Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday and Thursday before shifting west into Gujarat and northern Maharashtra from Friday into the weekend.

Following a wet first two days of July, drier-than-normal weather has settled over Mumbai, but that will change from Friday into Sunday as downpours return.

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Total rainfall of 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) will be common from Mumbai to Vadodara, Ahmedabad and Rajkot during this three-day period with local amounts over 300 mm (12 inches).

While the rainfall is needed across the region, torrential downpours will bring the threat for dangerous flash flooding and mudslides.

A second surge of monsoon moisture could bring additional heavy rainfall to similar areas for the majority of next week which would continue the threat for flooding.

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