Finding Links Between the Flooding in Texas and South Asia

Finding Links Between the Flooding in Texas and South Asia
Villagers travel by boat in floodwaters in Assam state, northeast India, Aug. 15, 2017 (AP photo by Anupam Nath).

Americans have been riveted to the tales of tragedy and human suffering caused by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana. Half a world away, monsoon season flooding at even more epic levels has resulted in great loss of life, property damage and health challenges for communities in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. The economics and cultural dimensions of the two cases are profoundly different, but the acute policy and governance demands related to climate and resilience are not that dissimilar.

Monsoons in South Asia often produce heart-wrenching images of water-engulfed villages and desperate families seeking shelter and food. Unlike Harvey’s victims, their struggles rarely capture the attention of the rest of the world for more than a day or two.

But this year, the concurrent flooding tragedies trigger some desire to compare and contrast the two situations. It’s easy to assume that wealthy Texas can respond with state and federal resources far more plentiful than what governments can provide in South Asia. And one can posit that South Asians have developed different coping mechanisms, given the frequency of monsoons and the recognized impossibility of protecting the region’s densely populated coastal cities from the ravages of nature. One assumes that there are simply quite different expectations in the two places for relief and reconstruction help from their respective governments.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.