As per the IMD data, till November 24, the state has received 3,523.3 mm rainfall, which This is slightly higher than even the devastating August 2018 floods.

Vehicles wade through a flooded road after heavy rains at Kadutthuritthi in Kottayam district,pti
news Kerala rains Thursday, November 25, 2021 - 13:18

The year 2021 has been the rainiest in Kerala in the last six decades, say climatologists, with the state having received 110% excess rainfall from the north-west monsoon. The excess precipitation has not only caused damage to life and property in the state, but has also left farmers in a fix. As per the IMD data, till November 24, the state has received 3,523.3 mm rainfall. This is slightly higher than even the devastating August 2018 floods, when the state had received 3,518.9 mm rainfall. The last record of the highest rainfall was 4,257 mm in 1961.

During the north-west monsoon period, Pathanamthitta district in Kerala received an excess 186% rainfall. For Kannur, it was 143% excess rainfall, for Alappuzha, 57%, for Ernakulam, 102%, for Idukki, 119%, for Kasaragod, 141%, for Kollam, 100%, for Kottayam, 119%, for Kozhikode, 135%, for Malappuram, 76%, for Palakkad, 104%, for Thiruvananthapuram, 80%, for Thrissur, 90% and for Wayanad, 80%, in the north-west monsoon period.

In the period of January 1 to February 28, Kerala received 409% excess rainfall – the normal rainfall in this period is 22.4 mm and the actual rainfall received this year was 114.1 mm. From March 1 to May 31, the state received 750.9 mm rainfall, which is an excess of 108% compared to the normal rainfall in this period: 361.5 mm. However, during the south-west monsoon period, Kerala recorded 16% deficit rainfall. The normal rainfall in this period should be 2,049.2 mm; but the state received 1718.8 mm.

According to climatologist Gopakumar Cholayil, "Cyclonic circulation is the main reason for the state receiving extremely high rainfall.” He added, “The average north-west rainfall is 492 mm and the state received 938.4 mm till November 24. At present we can't predict the volume of rain we will receive in the coming days. There’s a possibility of the cyclonic circulation turning into depression in the Bay of Bengal within the next three days."

Cholayil continued, "The unprecedented rainfall pattern seriously affected the farmers in the state. The kole farmers have been sowing seeds for the last three months but the crop is failing due to extreme rainfall. The change of rainfall pattern significantly affected the farming sector. Cardamom and vegetable farmers are also facing large-scale damage. It is the poor farmers who are the most affected, and it would help to arrange crop insurance in all farming sectors.”

Kanthalloor in Idukki is one of the main cool season vegetable farming areas. However, this year, there is no next vegetable harvesting season here in January due to excess rainfall, said Kanthalloor Winter Vegetable Farmers' Society Secretary Sojan P G. "This was the sowing season for the next harvest. But due to continuous rainfall, the farmers have been unable to do their work," he said.

The gates of the Cheruthoni dam, which is part of Asia's biggest arch dam in Idukki, were opened at least thrice for the first time this year, after 1981. A KSEB dam safety official said that the shutters of the dam were opened as a precaution to control the flood this year; while in 1981, the dam was opened four times and for trial purposes. "In 1981, the dam was first opened between October 29 and November 5. The shutters were closed on October 31 and opened on November 1 and released 23.42 mcm of water. Then, on November 10, to be closed on November 12. Then, the dam’s gates were opened on November 14 and closed the same day,” a KSEB dam safety official said. “The last long opening of the dam was in 2018, when it released a total of 1069.29 mcm of water within 32 days. In 2021, the shutters of the dam were opened as a precautionary method to control the flood,” the official added.

Topic tags,
Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.