Many South Asians in NY-NJ die in flooding caused by Ida

New York: Four people of Indian origin and a Nepali family of three have died in New York from the flooding caused by Hurricane Ida that battered the US.

Phamatee Ramskriet, 43, and her son Krishah, 22, drowned when their basement flat flooded in New York City on September 1.

Mingma Sherpa, 48, and Ang Gelu Lama, 52, and their infant son Lobsang Lama, 2, also drowned when the waters from the record-setting downpour in the city inundated their basement flat.

In New Jersey, Malathi Kanche, a software engineer, drowned after she was swept away when her car stalled on a flooded road. Her daughter, however, swam to safety.

Also in New Jersey, Danush Reddy, 31, was sucked into a 36-inch sewer pipe by the floods. His body was found swept up to a wooded area in Piscataway, about 8 km away from where he went missing.

Even though Hurricane Ida was most devastating in Louisiana and its neighbors in the south where entire localities were totally destroyed, its deadliest human toll was in the New York tristate area where at least 42 people were killed — 25 in New Jersey, 16 in New York City and one in Connecticut.

Of the total rainfall that day of 8 inches, more than 3 inches fell within an hour and New York Governor Kathy Hochul likened it to “Niagara Falls-level” of water falling on the city. The city’s infrastructure was overwhelmed by the intensity of the rain.

President Biden visited the affected areas on Tuesday and has declared a state of emergency for the two states to enable them to get federal aid rapidly.

President Biden approved major disaster declarations for New York and New Jersey, making federal aid available for communities that suffered catastrophic flooding. 

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