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June 17, 2013

The start of the Monsoon season

Monsoon season in southern Asia has begun, and in India the rains arrived ahead of schedule, easing drought concerns. Monsoon rains can be disruptive and even deadly, but crucial for the farmers whose crops feed millions of people. Though concerns for flooding are prevalent, the arrival of the rains brings colorful celebrations and relief from the heat every year. -Leanne Burden Seidel (32 photos total)

An Indian buffalo herder holding a traditional handmade umbrella stands in a field to keep watch of his buffaloes as monsoon clouds hover above in Bhubaneswar, India, on June 13, 2013. (Biswaranjan Rout/Associated Press)

The Kumari, considered a living goddess, attends festivities on the last day of the Rato Machindranath chariot festival, also known as Bhoto Jatra, in Jwalakhel, on the outskirts of Kathmandu on June 7, 2013. The event, celebrated every year to herald good monsoon rains for increased rice harvest, prosperity and goodluck, is one of the main festivals observed by both the Buddhist and Hindu communities of Kathmandu. (Prakash Mathema/AFP/Getty Images) #

Indian women protect themselves standing under tree during rain in Hyderabad, India, on June 11, 2013. Monsoon rains, that lash India from June to September, are considered crucial for farmers whose crops feed millions of people. (Mahesh Kumar A./Associated Press) #

A farmer removes dried grass from his rice field against on the outskirts of the western Indian city of Ahmedabad June 13, 2013. The annual monsoon rains are crucial for the 55 percent of farmland without irrigation in India, one of the world's biggest producers and consumers of foodstuffs. (Amit Dave/Reuters) #

The dark rain clouds appear off Dehiwala in the suburbs of Colombo, Sri Lanka, on June 8, 2013. Strong gale force winds from early this morning due to the south-west monsoon resulted in several fisher craft being reported missing.(M.A Pushpa Kumara/EPA)#

Dark clouds are seen in the sky over high-rise buildings, heralding heavy rainfalls in the eastern Indian city of Calcutta, India, on June 7, 2013. The summer monsoon season in India usually begins in the months of June and July and lasts until October. (Piyal Adhikary/EPA)#

Indian fishermen push a fishing boat to anchor it near the Arabic Sea shore at the Chowk Dongri village in Thane, India, on June 8, 2013. The local fishermen stop fishing between 10 June and 15 August during the monsoon period due to rough seas, uncertain wind conditions and continuous rain which also can cause damage to the boats. (Divyakant Solanki/EPA) #

A man holds an umbrella as he sits on a bench during monsoon rains in Mumbai, India, on June 12, 2013. (Rafiq Laqbool/Associated Press)#

An egret feeds its baby on a tree along the River Brahmaputra in Gauhati, India, on June 3, 2013. The arrival of egrets usually indicates the beginning of the monsoon season in this region. (Anupam Nath/Associated Press)#

A woman carries her child through a heavy rain shower in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh on June 11, 2013. India's monsoon rains recorded higher than average levels in the first week of the four-month rainy season, weather office sources said, reflecting a timely onset and progress so far over southern states. (Ajay Verma/Reuters)#

An Indian buffalo herder returns with water buffaloes on a dry river bed in Allahabad on June 9, 2013. India's 235 million farmers still rely on the erratic rains to soak around 60 percent of the country's farmland -- despite calls for the government to improve irrigation and water-harvesting methods to ensure more stable crop output. (Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images)#

People enjoy high tide waves during monsoon rains on the Arabian Sea coast in Mumbai, India, on June 12, 2013. (Rajanish Kakade/Associated Press) #

A man holds a cloth during a marriage ceremony between a pair of donkeys in Mumbai June 5, 2013. Dozens of farmers from the drought-hit district of Solapur attended this marriage ceremony in protest against what they say was lack of assistance from the state government during the drought. According to a local Hindu belief, the marriage of donkeys speeds up the arrival of monsoon rains. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)#

Sri Lanka Navy personnel attempt unsuccessfully to reach marooned fishing boats off the coasts of Dehiwala in the suburbs of Colombo, Sri Lanka, on June 8, 2013. Strong gale force winds from early this morning due to the south-west monsoon resulted in several fisher craft being reported missing. Several of them were rescued while four fishermen were reported killed and 17 others have been reported missing.(M.A Pushpa Kumara/EPA)#

Family members of a missing fisherman cry in Dehiwala, Sri Lanka, on June 8, 2013. Heavy wind and rains caused by the southwestern monsoon killed five people and left 17 fishermen missing along Sri Lanka's coast Saturday, an official said. (Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press)#

Volunteers learn how to install sand bags and panels at homes in case of a flash flood during the rain season in Seoul, South Korea, on June 13, 2013. Forecasters predict the monsoon season will begin around 17 June, starting from the country's central region. (Yonhapnews/EPA)#

A member of the Bathini Goud family administers 'fish medicine' to a patient at the Nampally Exhibition Grounds in Hyderabad on June 9, 2013. The medicine, which has been offered by the family of the southern Indian city to patients for the last 162 years as a cure for asthma and other breathing disorders, is placed in the mouth of a live murrel fish and then slipped into the mouth of the patient. The medicine is administered on the auspicious day of 'Mrigasira Karti' which falls in June with the onset of the annual monsoon. The treatment, which is based on a secret herb formula, draws thousands of people from all over the country. (Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man sleeps on a cot in a flooded lane during monsoon rains in Mumbai, India, on June 10, 2013. Heavy rains disrupted rail and road traffic in India's commercial capital affecting normal life.(Rafiq Maqbool/Associated Press)#

A Nepalese farmer works in a field at Khokana on the outskirts of Katmandu, on June 6, 2013. Farmers are busy ploughing fields for planting rice in preparation for the monsoon season. (Niranjan Shrestha/Associated Press) #

A photographer holds an umbrella to shield himself from the rain on a beach in Mumbai June 13, 2013. Annual monsoon rains have covered half of India two days ahead of the usual date, easing concern over southwestern regions parched by drought. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)#

Nepalese devotees carry traditional torches during festivities on the last day of the Rato Machindranath chariot festival, also known as Bhoto Jatra, in Bungamati on June 7, 2013. The event, celebrated every year to herald good monsoon rains for increased rice harvest, prosperity and goodluck, is one of the main festivals observed by both the Buddhist and Hindu communities of Kathmandu.(Prakash Mathema/AFP/Getty Images) #

Boys play at a sea wall as waves crash over it during a monsoon rain shower in Mumbai, June 13, 2013. (Vivek Prakash/Reuters)#

Young Indian Muslim boys mop the floor of a mosque which got wet during rains in New Delhi, India, on June 14, 2013. The monsoon rains which usually hit India from June to September are crucial for farmers whose crops feed hundreds of millions of people. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press)#

A fish vendor carries his basket on his head covered with plastic as he walks through a street during monsoon rains in Mumbai, India, on June 9, 2013. The Southwest monsoon, arrived in the city Saturday, three days ahead of schedule, according to the meteorological department. (Rafiq Maqbool/Associated Press)#

Excavators clear debris as rescue workers look for trapped people after a residential building collapsed, killing at least seven people in Mumbai on June 10, 2013. Four diggers and a crowd of people were gathered around a high mound of rubble -- the remains of half of the four-story building that caved in on the second day of heavy monsoon rains in the city. (Punit ParanjpeAFP/Getty Images)#

Rescue workers take out a body from the rubble after a residential building collapsed in heavy monsoon rains in Mumbai, India, on June 11, 2013. (Rajanish Kakade/Associated Press) #

A boy plays as a car drives through a flooded street during monsoon rains in Mumbai, India on June 10, 2013. Heavy rains disrupted rail and road traffic in India's commercial capital. (Rafiq Maqbool/Associated Press)#

Indian people shelter under umbrellas as they wait for a bus during heavy rain in Mumbai, India on June 8, 2013. Monsoon rains lash India from June to September. (Rajanish Kakade/Associated Press) #

An Indian farmer ploughs a field as part of preparations for paddy crop planting on the outskirts of Hyderabad on June 11, 2013. India's monsoon rains are the main source of irrigation for the nation's 235 million farmers who depend on the timing of the monsoon in order to decide which crops to grow.The farm sector accounts for about 15 percent of a nearly USD 2-trillion economy, Asia's third-biggest.( Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images)#

An Indian man looks at damage to a road during heavy monsoon rains near Govindghat town in the Indian state of Uttrakhand on June 17, 2013. Heavy rains lashed parts of north India Monday, resulting in the deaths of at least 18 people, as the annual monsoon covered the country nearly two weeks ahead of schedule. (AFP/Getty Images)#

Indian people walk along the sea front during rain showers in Mumbai on June 14, 2013. The weather department has forecast India will receive normal rains this year, raising prospects of a stronger performance by Asia's third-largest economy. (Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images) #

Fast moving water flows over a Hindu statue during a heavy monsoon rain in Rishikesh town in the Indian state of Uttrakhand on June 17, 2013. More than a dozen people lost their lives due to record downpours in Uttarakhand state, situated in the foothills of the Himalayas. (AFP/Getty Images)#


 
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