Currently in their monsoon season, the rainfall in Kerala in India's southwest has been exceptionally high. According to a press release on the 19th of August from the India Meterological Department, Kerala had received 2346.6mm from the 1st of June to the 19th of August, compared to an average of 1649.5mm for the same period in previous years, this represents a 42% increase. While this is incredible in itself, it was the rainfall from the first half of August that has been the most significant cause of the floods in Kerala.
Before this year, the average rainfall between 1-19 of August was 287.6mm, in 2018 this saw a 164% incease, with over 750mm of rainfall. Due to rains in July, many resevoirs and dams were already close to capacity, when the downpour struck, there were no buffers and no more room for the water to go.
For almost a week, catchment authorities were forced to allow heavy releases from all 35 major water resevoirs to deal with the excess water, this sent vast volumes of water cascading into rivers, causing them to overflow, break their banks and lead to to widespread flooding across most of the state of Kerala. As a result, poor damn management is being blamed as a significant contributor to the extent of the impact and damage of the flood.
According to the Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vjayan, in a report from The Economic Times more than 483 people have lost their lives and 57,000 hectares of agriculture crops have been destroyed. As of the 30th of August, the flood waters have begun receding, and rescue efforts have been underway for some time, presently, the primary concern is dealing with the ramifications of disease, injury and the rehabilitation of an entire state.
Help Anglican Aid as we partner with the Indian Gospel League (IGL) in raising money for relief, rebuilding and recovery efforts.
For more information see the Kerala Floods Appeal