This is Why Kerala is Witnessing Heavy Rains & Landslides That Have Killed 7, Washed Away Homes

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Heavy rains have been pounding Kerala since Friday evening, leaving at least six people dead and over a dozen missing. The incessant rainfall has further caused flash floods and landslides in many parts, prompting the state government to seek the assistance of the defence forces for rescue operations.

Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department has warned of more rains on Sunday also.

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At Pathanamthitta district, which suffered heavily back in 2018, a car was swept away by the rushing waters but an alert auto-rickshaw driver, sensing the danger, threw stones at the car which broke the windshield allowing the driver to come out through it who swam to safety.

Meanwhile, the saving grace is that the rains appear to have slowed down and that has come handy for those engaged in rescue and relief operations.

But what triggered this weather?

On October 14, a low-pressure system that developed in the east-central Arabian Sea moved closer to Kerala coast. Following this, the southern Indian state began receiving heavy to very heavy rainfall ranging from 115.5mm to 204.4mm in 24-hours, and extremely heavy rain (over 204.4mm in 24-hours) in at least six of its districts since Thursday.

On Saturday, between 12noon and 6pm Thodupuzha received 145.mm rainfall, the most among the southern districts. Besides this, the rainfall received at other districts was as follows:

Cheruthoni 142.2mm, Konni – 125mm, Thenmala – 120.5mm, Vyanthala – 95mm, Kottarakara – 77mm, Pallurthy – 66mm.

In one of the heavy rains in recent years, the high ranges of central and south Kerala are experiencing almost similar to that of the situation the state faced during the time of devastating floods of 2018 and 2019 but authorities said everything was under control and there was no need for any panic.

Several people have been injured and displaced in rain-related incidents in the southern state where dams in many districts are nearing its full capacity and small towns and villages in the hilly areas are totally cut off from the outside world.

Automatic weather stations in North Paravur reported 38mm rains, Muvattupuzha (89.5mm), Palluruthy (34 mm) and Neeleswaram in Northern Kerala district received 125.5mm rains till 8.30 pm, officials said.

“The situation is serious”, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said. He, however, said the latest weather forecast indicates that the situation is not going to get worse.

Technically, by September 30, southwest monsoon season concludes in Kerala, however, this year, it has been unusually delayed. “The onset of northeast monsoon began by October 15, with minor deviations,” IMD centre Thiruvananthapuram director K Santhosh told The New Indian Express, adding that before the beginning of northeast monsoon, an anticyclonic wind has to form over the lower troposphere.

So, the rainfall during the last four days has been called a localised phenomenon that was triggered due to the low-pressure system formed in the Arabian Sea.

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