India has one of the most dramatic monsoon seasons of any country, and it looks like this one is finally over. According to the locals, it was not a proper monsoon season. To them, a proper monsoon season is when they get at least one week of pretty solid rain. That didn’t happen this year, but still it was an experience I won’t soon forget! The storms move in quickly and you can smell the rain coming. Typically there is thunder and lightning before the actual rain starts. Then when the rain does start it rains really hard! In fact, they often get a couple of inches of rain in only an hour!
India get about 90% of its annual rainfall during the monsoon season. That much rain in such a short amount of time has a big impact on everything from the economy to social life. Here are 5 other things that the monsoons impact.
Crops: Over 50% of India’s workers are employed in agriculture and the monsoons are not kind to crops. Before the rains hit I could easily find fresh grapes and bananas. Now the bananas are green and grapes are hard to find. I can only imagine the impact it must have on the farm owners and their employees due to the destruction of crops.
Traffic: Traffic in India is always horrible, and the monsoons only exacerbate it. During this last monsoon season there was a 17 hour traffic jam on the highway between the cities of Noida and Delhi that was caused by standing water in the roadway. That’s right, a 17 hour traffic jam! It caused all kinds of havoc because cars ran out of gas and people didn’t have food and water. There were a number of a medical emergencies as a result.
Health: All the standing water during monsoons attracts insects, especially mosquitoes! Delhi has had one of the worst Dengue outbreaks in years and it is no surprise that the onset of it correlated with monsoon season. I had one of my employees come down with Dengue and he missed over a week of work do to a high fever and rash. Malaria cases also increase during the monsoons.
Technology: India often has rolling blackouts, but they are far more frequent and last much longer during the monsoons.
Business: I had a few employees that just couldn’t make it to work during the monsoons. There were a number of contributing factors to the tardiness, such as excessive standing water in their parking lot, their train was cancelled and one person had flooding in their home.
I really enjoyed the rains and the storms and am sad that they didn’t stick around longer. For me it was a nice change from the sweltering heat, but I’m sure that many others are happy the monsoons are over and that life can return to normal.