On August 18, 2008, the Kosi River broke through a man-made embankment in Nepal. The flooding was massive and engulfed half the neighbouring state of Bi¬har in India. The prime minister declared it a national calamity. According to the World Health Organization, 3.3 million people in 1,850 villages were affected, with one million rendered homeless. Crops were devastated and there was no drinking water. In the worst-affected regions, only treetops were visible above the waterline.