17 Aug 2020
Floods killed 868 people in 11 states: Government report
In the last couple of weeks, India faced a double whammy with floods adding to woes of a coronavirus-battered country. As many as 11 states were adversely affected by floods, triggered by heavy rainfall, and 868 people lost their lives, a flood situation report made by MHA's Disaster Management Division said.
The report was dated August 12, according to an HT report.
From August 11 to 14, active monsoon prevailed
Parts of the country experienced a very active monsoon between August 11 and 14, which made up for the rainfall deficit of July.
In some states, like Bihar, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and few areas of Meghalaya, July wasn't particularly dry. In fact, these states were flooded due to downpour.
In the first week of August, Mumbai, Konkan, and Karnataka were inundated with rainfall.
From Kerala to Bihar, rainfall threw life out of gear
Evidently, rains wreaked havoc across the nation. To recall, heavy downpour triggered a landslide in Kerala's Idukki district on August 7, killing at least 55. The operation to rescue those buried under the mud was jeopardized due to rains and spanned days.
Similarly, in Bihar, water entered houses, fragile structures were torn apart, forcing people to take shelter in highways and railway stations.
In Jaipur, rains sparked scary scenes last week
Even the desert state of Rajasthan wasn't spared from incessant rainfall. On Friday, capital Jaipur witnessed unprecedented rainfall, leading to a flood-like situation in several pockets of the city.
Low-lying areas were submerged, cars floated, and strong water currents made it impossible for people to stand on their feet.
Experts blamed a cyclonic circulation over east Rajasthan for the rainfall.
One town got 25 cm rainfall in just six hours
Divulging more details, RK Jenamani, senior scientist at the National Weather Forecasting Centre, said one town in Jaipur district received 25 cm of rainfall in merely six hours.
"A lot of rain was recorded last week alone which helped northwest India largely cover its deficiency. Parts of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan have recorded extremely heavy rains in the past 24 hours," he added.
Expert said the coming days won't provide any respite
Further, Jenamani underscored that the coming days won't be sans rainfall.
"Another low-pressure area is likely to develop over the Bay of Bengal around August 19 which will bring very heavy rains to the Northwest and Central India in the coming days," he said. Another one is expected around August 23.
This month, three low-pressure areas have already been developed over Bay of Bengal.
Warm water bodies could also lead to rainfall
Separately, Roxy Mathew Koll, a climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, said the northern Arabian Sea has been comparatively warmer in recent days, which led to moisture.
"Our research shows that such high temperatures in the north Arabian Sea can lead to episodes of strong monsoon winds ensuing heavy rain spells across several parts of India," Koll said.
Situation conducive for heavy rains in many states
The daily added that the active monsoon trough is prevailing from Ganganagar to the Bay of Bengal and its western end could move northwards in the next two days.
Coupled with other factors, heavy rainfall is expected in northwest India and Uttarakhand from August 18.
Telangana, Konkan, Goa, Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Gangetic West Bengal could also receive heavy rainfall in the coming days.