Kerala may receive more rain than usual this monsoon, says CM Pinarayi Vijayan

'We must be ready', warns Kerala CM as another flood looms amid the pandemic struggle

Kerala is likely to receive more rain than usual this monsoon, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said citing a weather report. According to the report, August will see the most rain.

Emergency measures will be taken urgently to mitigate the threat posed by another flood amid the coronavirus pandemic, Vijayan said.

“Even as we fight coronavirus, the threat of another flood looms before us. We must be ready to face that challenge as well,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said during this sunset briefing on COVID-19 on Thursday.

The Kerala State Disaster Management (KSDMA) has been entrusted with formulating a plan. Volunteers who registered on the government's portal too will be roped in and given sufficient training on disaster management and response.

On the event of a flood, we cannot risk accomodating those evacuated under one roof – schools, stadiums – like previous times as coronavirus is likely to spread, Vijayan said.

“The KSDMA has advised that we may require four types of buildings to house people – for general category, for the elderly, for those showing COVID symptoms, for those in home quarantine,” Vijayan added.

During the quarantine, we had identified close to 27,000 buildings that we may use. This is more than 2.5 lakh rooms. People will be moved here. Efforts are also on to find more spaces, Vijayan said.

“Reservoirs in Kerala, including the Idukki dam, are being constantly monitored. As of now, there is no need to open their shutters,” Vijayan said even as reports indicate that these reservoirs will soon be holding more water than it did during 2018.

Eight prominent environment and water protection council activists have submitted a memorandum to the Chief Secretary, seeking to reduce the water level in the dams and implement flood-control guidelines.

“We will ensure that rivers are removed off their pollutants and that their flow is maintained. Works are on to this end. Directions have been given to see that the work is completed in two weeks time, before the onset of monsoon,” Vijayan said.

Meanwhile, India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that India will receive normal monsoon this year. The IMD defines 'average' or 'normal' rainfall as between 96 per cent and 104 per cent, and the Long Period Average (LPA) of the seasonal rainfall across the country for the period 1961-2010 is 88 centimetres.

However, 'the Weather Company', a subsidiary of American IT company IBM, predicted that India is likely to have an "unusually wet" and "above normal" monsoon this season due to La Nina conditions.

It added that a transition is expected from weak El Nino conditions towards La Nina conditions during the monsoon period, which will favour a large-scale atmospheric pattern that will become increasingly conducive to heavier rainfalls later in the season.

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