Kerala received 164% more rains in August, 42% more during the entire monsoon season: IMD
Kerala has received over two and a half times more rainfall over average for August so far, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Sunday. Between August 1 and 19, the state received 758.6 mm of rainfall, against the average of 287.6 mm, or 164% more.
The highest rainfall was recorded in Idukki district, which received 92% more rains. This was followed by Palakkad, with 72% more rains.
Kerala has received 42% more rainfall than usual since the beginning of the monsoon season in June. So far, there has been 2346.3 mm of rainfall, instead of the average 1649.55 mm.
“This year the heavy rainfall was because of the perfect confluence of the southwest monsoon wind system and the two low-pressure systems that formed over the Bay of Bengal and Odisha,” said Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, a senior scientist at IMD.
The low-pressure regions pull in the moist south-west monsoon winds, increasing their speed, as they then hit the Western Ghats, travel skywards, and form rain-bearing clouds, he said. This brought the excess rainfall over areas near the Western Ghats, including Kerala.
Over the next five days, rainfall over Kerala is likely to decrease further, with all of the districts of the state experiencing light to moderate rainfall.
Another low-pressure system was forming over Odisha on Sunday, according to the IMD, but it is unlikely to increase the rainfall over Kerala as the monsoon wind directions have changed.
The rainfall in the state has been generally above average this season, with Kerala receiving 15% more rainfall in June and 18% more in July.
Even before the current surge in rainfall over the state between August 8 and 16, Kerala had had three rainfall peaks -- two consecutive ones on June 14 and 20 and another one on July 20.
More rainfall in September
Kerala is likely to get yet another spell of extremely heavy rainfall in September before the monsoon retreats. “Kerala usually gets extremely heavy rainfall – up to 24 cms – in September, so we can expect more extremely heavy rainfall in the state. However, this should not worsen the flood situation as we expect a respite from the rains for five to seven days, which should give time to the accumulated water to drain out,” said Mohapatra.
To aid the flood relief measures and prevent outbreaks of air- or water-borne diseases, the Union health ministry will set up 3,757 medical camps in Kerala and send 90 types of medicines as requested by the state.
“The first tranche of medicines shall reach tomorrow,” a health ministry release said.
To date, no outbreak of communicable diseases have been reported, but “health experts opine that once the flood water starts receding, the environment would be conducive for epidemic-prone disease,” the release read.
Hence, rapid health assessment teams will be set up in consultation with the state government to prevent and control outbreaks, it added.