August is here and Keralites are scared over the intensifying Southwest monsoon and the Indian Meteorological Department’s (IMD) prediction of heavy to very heavy rainfall in Kerala this week.
In 2018 and 2019, the state witnessed massive floods causing extensive devastation. Residents of flood-prone villages, riverbanks and hilly areas are worried over the high likelihood of a deluge in the state.
All districts across the state are receiving heavy rains over the last two days and the IMD has predicted strong winds reaching up to 50 to 60 kilometres per hour over Kerala and Karnataka coasts. A low pressure system expected to form over northwest Bay of Bengal on Tuesday which is likely to develop into deep depression might bring heavy rainfall across the state, according to weather forecast.
Orange alert has been issued for Idukki, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargod districts while yellow alert sounded for all other districts except Palakkad.
Local self governments and district administrations have been put on vigil in the wake of intensifying rains and IMD forecast. Most parts of Kochi city and outskirts were inundated by the heavy rains last week causing huge loss to shops and commercial establishments which have already been hit by the business loss due to COVID-19. Though the district administration initiated programme called ‘operation breakthrough’ to resolve the perennial issue of flooding in Kochi, it failed to have any positive impact.
In the wake of the pandemic situation, setting up relief camps as per COVID-19 health protocol and rehabilitating affected people will be a tough challenge for authorities.
Since Kerala has witnessed extreme weather events in August over last two years, the State Disaster Management Authority has taken all preventive measures. Few agencies and independent weather forecasters like Pradeep John, known as Tamil Nadu weatherman, has predicted chances of a flood repeat for Kerala this year too.
In 2018 and 2019, the state has received highest amount of rainfall during the first and second weeks of August. In 2018, the state witnessed extreme rainfall of 2517 mm during the Southwest monsoon from June to September while the amount of rainfall in 2019 was 2310 mm. Both the years recorded much higher than the normal average rainfall during the southwest monsoon.