August 28th, 2008
03:36 PM ET

Amid a sea of despair

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/28/art.india.flood.jpg caption="The worst flooding in decades has devastated much of the state of Bihar in India."]Sara Sidner
International Correspondent

I am surrounded by nothing but water. I’m sitting in an aluminum boat with a couple of cracks in it, going on a rescue mission with the army in Bihar, where almost 3 million people have now been affected by the worst flooding in decades.

The worst flooding in decades has devastated much of the state of Bihar.
Sorrow is everywhere. A village is just ahead. You can see the tops of some homes while others are hidden beneath the rising water. People are begging for us to stop and help them.

We’re stopping.

There is only enough room for 80 people on this boat. There are more than 150 waiting. It’s heartbreaking. People are piling on now. It’s too much and the army major screams for them to stop or the boat will sink.

Finally dozens of children, mothers, fathers, and grandparents get aboard. Some are crying, others stone faced. Everyone is hungry and tired.

One woman tells me she has nothing left. She has no idea where she will go and how she will feed her little girl. Her husband stuck in another village that is flooded.

The boat is taking on a little water. The army is discussing going back and dropping off a few people but decide against it. Slowly in the strong current of the Kosi river we can see land.


Filed under: Global 360°
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. l hank, houston, tx

    I am sorrowful for those people, and you are right how can you expect us to help when this country couldn't help it's own. Do you think they really tried? Again, I say Charity begins at Home. This administration (Bush/Chaney) is the worst that I have ever seen in my lifetime. You can say what you want about the Carters/Clintons but we did have a surplus at the end of their administration, now we are in debt to every nation around the world. we don't even own our country any more

    August 29, 2008 at 9:56 am |
  2. Melissa, Los Angeles

    Wow...I'm embarrassed to say I was unaware of the flood with the news focused on the Dem Convention. I sure hope India doesn't expect the U.S. to really offer much help. Our economy is shot, people are losing jobs – California is billions in debt without a budget for this fiscal year so far – times truly are tough.

    August 28, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  3. Annie Kate

    I read about this flooding the other day. Some flooding is expected each year from what I understood from the article but the monsoon rains have been much more than average and so flooding has happened and rivers have over topped their levees or just broken through. So many people are suffering and have no place to go and the crops that depend on the monsoon rains may be ruined completely because of the excess. While you can't tie one event to global warming the scientists and local authorities say that the monsoon rains for the past few years have lasted longer and rained more than they can remember.

    I hope these people get some help and the aid they need. Bangladesh is also suffering from flooding from this as is Ethiopia. Lots of misery in the world. I hope the relief agencies get in there and help alleviate this suffering soon.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 28, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  4. Cindy

    This flooding is so extremely sad to see. All of those people left with nothing. What's even sadder is that I haven't heard much about it on TV. Why is that? Is it because it doesn't involve us? If this were in the US the whole world would be going crazy about it like they did with NOLA. I don't get it.

    I just hope that the rain and flooding stop soon and that aid arrives for them.


    August 28, 2008 at 4:08 pm |