Kerala CM blames Met forecast failure for devastating floods in the state

House resolve for new Kerala, seeks aid.

Thiruvananthapuram: Pointing fingers at the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) for the devastating floods in the state, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in the Assembly that the rainfall from August 9 to 15 was over three times higher than the IMD’s forecast.

A special session of the Assembly held here on Thursday also unanimously passed a substantive motion urging the Centre to allow more funds for ‘building back a better Kerala’ as well as to allow the state to make use of the technical and financial assistance being offered by foreign countries and international agencies like the UN and World Bank. Mr Vijayan, who was replying to the discussion on the floods, denied the allegations that opening of dams led to the floods. “We had taken all precautions as per IMD’s forecast. But as the water level in the dams increased swiftly and unexpectedly, there was no option but to open the dams and release water,” he said. As per norms, the IMD would give a ‘heavy rainfall’ alert if the average rainfall forecast was between seven to 11 centimetres, ‘very heavy rainfall’ alert for 12 to 20 cms and ‘extremely heavy rainfall’ for over 20 cms.

“The IMD forecast for August 1 to 15 for the state was ‘very heavy rainfall’ and ‘heavy rainfall’. For August 9 to 15, the IMD forecast was an average rainfall of 9.85 cms, whereas the state received 35.22 cms during that period. But there was no alert of ‘extremely heavy rainfall,” he said and added that he was not blaming the IMD as the inaccuracy would be due to technical reasons. n Pg 6

Denying the Opposition’s allegations over delay in opening the shutters of Idukki dam, he said that the rains heavily increased after August 8 by 362 percent than the expected rainfall and the water level of the dam increased by two feet on August 9 alone. Hence the dam had to be opened.

The substantive motion passed by the House stated that 55 lakh people in 981 villages were hit by the floods and natural calamities and 483 people were killed. As many as 14 people were still missing and 140 suffered serious injuries. The flood badly hit all sectors of the state and a scientific analysis of the extent of damage and rehabilitation needs to be done with the help of a special agency comprising experts. It also hailed the rescue and relief operations, especially by fishermen and central forces, and the contributions being offered from various quarters.

The Chief Minister said that the assistance being offered from various parts of the world for the state highlights the consideration for Kerala globally. “Every household in UAE is having a Malayali touch and hence the UAE government was also offering assistance to us. Their assistance could be even much higher than what we already heard. We should be able to use all the help so as to bounce back as a new Kerala instead of weeping about the tragedy,” Mr Vijayan said.

The House passed the motion unanimously with the support of the Opposition. The lone BJP MLA O. Rajagopal was not present at the time of passing the motion.

KPMG to assist in rebuild, ministers to go abroad

The government on Thursday decided to send ministers on foreign tour to mobilise resources for the post flood rebuilding exercise to be undertaken across the state and appoint consultant KPMG for the exercise.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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