Why is Kerala facing heavy rains?

Heavy rains lash across Kerala as all14 districts issue alert.
Why is Kerala facing heavy rains?

Heavy rains lashed across Kerala forcing the authorities to issue a red alert in 5 districts while 7 districts are given an orange alert and two districts are under yellow alert, thereby indicating that all the 14 districts in the state are experiencing heavy rains.

Kerala is facing heavy rains for over 24 hours, forcing the authorities to issue a red alert in 5 districts, orange alert in 7 districts and yellow alert in two. Heavy rains have been lashing the southern state starting Friday evening resulting in landslides, roads at several places flooded, and normal traffic being affected. According to reports, at least six people have died and over a dozen are missing.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday issued an advisory that people have to be extremely cautious and under no circumstances should they ignore the warnings that are given. The severity of the issue has forced the Kerala government to ask the central government for the help of the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army for disaster management.

"A 24 hour alert has to be observed and all those living close to water sources have to be very cautious and none should venture in the waters. Travel in the hilly areas or places where rains are occuring should be best avoided and areas prone to landslides have also to be watchful," said Vijayan.

But what triggered this weather?

On Thursday, a low-pressure system that developed in the east-central Arabian Sea moved closer to the western Kerala coast. Following this, the state began experiencing 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.

The rains reminded Malayalees across Kerala of the devasting floods that have been hitting the southern state every year since 2018, resulting in the death of more than 600 people. But authorities assured everything was under control and there was no need for any panic.  

Technically, by September 30, southwest monsoon season concludes in Kerala and the onset of northeast monsoon begins by October 15. The delay in southwest monsoon’s withdrawal likely had a bearing on the onset of Northeast monsoon. Indian Meteorological Department centre Thiruvananthapuram director K Santhosh had told New Indian Express, “Weather models show the likely re-emergence of low pressure in the Arabian Sea which is expected to increase rainfall in Kerala even in the first week of October.

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