Extreme weather events claimed 231 lives in 3 months: IMD
According to the India Meteorological Department's (IMD) seasonal analysis, extreme weather events, most of which were caused by heavy rainfall, killed 231 people throughout India during the pre-monsoon season. In the last three months, the northeastern states took most of the brunt of the severe weather due to the pre-monsoon downpours and the rising waters in one of the world's largest rivers, the Brahmaputra.
- India has been facing extreme weather events this year due to climate change.
- According to the IMD, March was unusually warm this year and it was the hottest March India witnessed in 122 years.
- Northwest and central India also experienced their hottest April ever amid an intense heatwave in reportedly 17 states, leading to an increase in power demands and coal shortages across India.
As per the IMD, extreme weather patterns causing floods, thunder, and heatwave across states killed 231 people and injured 105, while 11 individuals went missing and 1,234 livestock were lost, News18 reported. In Assam and neighboring north-eastern states, heavy downpours, floods, and landslides reportedly killed 81 people. The situation remains bleak in the region, with a forecast of another round of heavy rain.
Lightning was a major killer, claiming 76 lives of people across multiple states, injuring 36 others, and killing 77 livestock. The most casualties were reported from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. Thunderstorms claimed the lives of 35 people, at least 30 of which were reported in Assam. Meanwhile, dust storms in Uttar Pradesh killed 22 people on May 23 alone.
According to reports, lightning strikes have increased by 34% across the country. On the other hand, official data put the number of casualties caused by the heatwave at 15, with 13 of them occurring in Maharashtra. This information was revealed in the IMD's climate overview for the pre-monsoon period (March to April) and was collected from real-time press reports and other governmental agencies.
The average mean temperatures in India were one degree Celsius above normal over the last three months, per the IMD. During the pre-monsoon season, India's average highest, lowest, and mean temperatures were 34.45 ºC, 22.9 ºC, and 28.7 ºC, respectively, compared to the normal of 33.5 ºC, 21.8 ºC, and 27.6 ºC, which is based on the data collected during the 1981-2010 time period.
Meanwhile, rainfall across the country was just 1% below the long-term average of 131.7 mm. However, northwest India experienced a 63% rainfall deficit, which was compensated by exactly 63% excess rainfall in the southern peninsular region, witnessing several heavy rain events occurring during the period. In fact, Kochi received 165.4 mm of rain in the last 24 hours, breaking all its previous records.