Record 1 422 people killed in monsoon rains from June to September, India

Record 1 422 people killed in monsoon rains from June to September, India

At least 1 422 people died due to erratic rains in India from June to Septemeber  - a record since the Union home ministry started keeping track in 2010. Over 1 800 extreme rainfall events this monsoon was recorded, the majority of which occurred in the first half of August.

In 2018, the numbers were at 1 379, 498 fatalities were in the state of Kerala solely.

The data also displayed that monsoon-related casualties were more widespread across the country than any past year with the highest count of 317 in Maharashtra. The figures are followed by 203 deaths in West Bengal, while 200 were recorded in Madhya Pradesh.

According to Mritunjay Mohapatra, India Meteorology Department's director-general, the intensity of low-pressure areas will be moving away from land starting Monday, September 16, prompting the withdrawal of the monsoon.

However, the effects will still be present for the following five days. "Thereafter, we can expect the withdrawal process of the monsoon to commence," he added.

DS Pai, a senior scientist with IMD, also explained, "extreme rainfall in the second part of monsoon (after July) was very high resulting in flash floods in many parts of India. Our data shows that such events this year were more than those recorded in the previous years."

The country received an average of 84.1 cm (33.1 inches) of rain until September 15, which is 4% above normal, according to IMD's rainfall data.

"We are seeing more than good rainfall with excess rainfall in the second half of the rainy season primarily due to weakening of El Nino and continued low pressure over the Bay of Bengal till Rajasthan," Pai added.

Furthermore, two-thirds of India's population is affected by the monsoon - these people depend on agriculture as their livelihood.

However, the monsoon refills 81 monitored reservoirs that are necessary for drinking, power, and irrigation.

The parties of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification also discussed extreme rainfall events, particularly how such happenings can result in a higher frequency of droughts. All stakeholders will introduce land-use management plans to prepare for such severe weather conditions.

Featured image credit: CGTN

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