Peermade in Idukki recorded exceptionally heavy rainfall of 305.5 mm in the 24-hour period ending at 8.30 am on October 17.

A man carrying his pet dog wades through the flooded Vellayani Kakkamoola road during heavy rain in Thiruvananthapuram on October 16 2021PTI
news Kerala Rains 2021 Sunday, October 17, 2021 - 13:18

Exceptionally heavy rainfall of 305.5 mm was recorded at the Peermade AWS (automatic weather station) in Idukki district in the 24-hour period ending at 8.30 am on Sunday, October 17. Heavy rains lashed south and central Kerala on Saturday, October 16, triggering landslides and flash floods in several parts. Kanjirappally in Kottayam district recorded extremely heavy rainfall of 266 mm, while Thodupuzha recorded 204 mm. Several places recorded very heavy rain above 115.6 mm as well.

In Idukki district, the Idukki station recorded 168.2 mm rainfall, while Cheruthoni recorded 163 mm. Poonjar in Kottayam district recorded 164.5 mm rainfall. Chalakkudy in Thrissur recorded 151.5 mm and Aryankavu in Kollam district recorded 165.4 mm, while Seethathode in Pathanamthitta saw 144.5 mm of rainfall. In Ernakulam district, Neeleswaram recorded 131.5 mm, Mavattupuzha 133.5 mm, Perumbavur 132 mm, and the station at the Cochin International Airport recorded 129 mm rainfall. In Kannur district, Panniyoor recorded 140.5 mm, Irukkur 140 mm and Taliparamba 117.6 mm.

As per IMD classification, 115.6 mm to 204.4 mm is classified as very heavy rain, above 204.5 mm is considered extremely heavy rain, and over 300 mm is exceptionally heavy rain.

The IMD had issued a red alert in six districts — Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur and Palakkad — after a low-pressure area was formed over the southeast Arabian Sea off the Kerala coast. According to a weather bulletin from the IMD issued on October 16, the associated cyclonic circulation extended up to 4.5 km above mean sea level. Another low-pressure area also lay over north coastal Andhra Pradesh and the adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal, the bulletin had said.

Between October 1 and 17, all the districts in Kerala saw a “large excess” of rainfall compared to the expected normal levels. Overall, the state recorded a rainfall of 412.2 mm, exceeding the normal rainfall for the period (173.4 mm) by 138%. Kozhikode received an excess 219% of rainfall (514.9 mm) compared to the normal rainfall of 161.3 mm. Pathanamthitta saw 205% excess rainfall (recording 583.88 mm in the 17-day period compared to a normal 191.4 mm). Kannur had 197% excess (440.5 mm against a normal of 148.2 mm), Ernakulam had an excess of 120% (390.1 mm against 177.1 mm) and Idukki had an excess rainfall of 108% (464 mm against the normal 222.9 mm).

In one of the heaviest rains in recent years, the high ranges of central and south Kerala are experiencing a situation reminiscent of the devastating floods of 2018 and 2019. However, authorities have said that everything was under control and there was no need for any panic.

Several people have been injured and displaced in rain-related incidents. Dams in many districts are nearing their full capacity and small towns and villages in the hilly areas are totally cut off from the outside world. Kottayam and Pathanamthitta are among the most affected districts due to heavy rains since Friday night.

Also read:

9 people including 5 kids missing as two landslides wash away houses in Kerala

Three generations in a family of six washed away in Kerala rains

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