The mid-July monsoons of 2002, which lashed across the country, flooded 13 states and took a toll of 841 lives and 3,729 cattle. The floods washed over 11 districts, destroyed 485,048 houses and 17,176 villages. Assam and Bihar states were the worst hit and over 20 million people were affected. Water cascading down from the Himalaya mountains caused flooding and breaches in river embankments throughout northern India.
In Bihar, where the scale of devastation exceeded that of floods in 1987, the flood waters receded at the close of September. However, due to alluvial and de-alluvial action of the rivers, there was mass destruction of homestead in the affected. Report from the state government showed that 15.8 million people across 8,212 villages in 25 districts were affected. More than 396,600 houses were damaged and 810,000 hectares of cropland destroyed. The death toll in the state reached 451.