After massive floods, Kerala now faces the possibility of a partial drought
- In the second week of August, the state received 250% more
rainfallthan usual, leading to massive flooding.
- However, in the first week of September, total rainfall in the state plummeted by 86% to 7.9mm.
- The drop in rainfall also comes at a time when
Kerala’s groundwater levels have depleted, topsoil has been eroded and average daily temperatures have risen.
AdvertisementThe primary reason for Kerala’s massive floods were clear. In the second week of August, the state received 250% more rainfall than usual, with some districts like Idukki - the worst hit from the floods - experiencing a 450% increase in rainfall, as per data from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). The state’s many dams did not have the capacity to hold the rainfall and had to release water.
The rains slowly abated in the third and fourth weeks of August which allowed rescue and relief efforts to accelerate. However, since the start of September, the state’s rainfall has declined to an extent that no one expected. Between 30 August and 5 September, total rainfall fell 86% to 7.9mm, according to the IMD.
This is the first real drop in rainfall since the
The drop in rainfall also comes at a time when Kerala’s groundwater levels have depleted. The flooding has led to the erosion of topsoil all over the state, which hinders the infiltration of water. This, coupled with a rise in the average daily temperatures and declining river flow has lead to difficult conditions in some parts of the state.
While rainfall is expected to pick up later this month, a subdued showing could lead to a partial
The floods might have receded. But Kerala’s problems could be far from over.
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