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16 more bodies of landslide victims recovered 

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on August 09, 2020 Published on August 09, 2020

Rain forecast for Kerala and Tamil Nadu valid till Sunday. Credit: The Weather Company.

Cloud cover over South Penisula on Saturday evening. Credit: The Weather Company

Latest count at 42; even more rain forecast for Kerala

Rescuers recovered 16 more bodies on Sunday from the debris of the massive landslide that struck the remote Pettimudi in the Rajamalai Hills in Idukki district when swift currents forced loose earth and huge boulders downslope, burying tenements occupied by plantation labourers, numbering 78 at the time of the disaster.

The total number of bodies recovered is 42, with even more to be found yet. The Idukki district administration said that rescue and relief efforts resumed in full gear on the third day but was hampered in the afternoon when it started pouring again. Makeshift arrangements were in place for postmortem and burial of the bodies. 

More red, orange alerts 

On Sunday, Idukki was among the six districts where a red alert was in force after another low-pressure area formed in the Bay of Bengal North Odisha-West Bengal. That it moved away from its previous position off Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coasts is a good augury since rains may head elsewhere over East and North-West India.

Red alerts were valid in seven other districts with only Thiruvananthapuram under yellow alert. On Monday, orange alert will stay in six districts and on Tuesday in three, from when the rains may reduce, the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority said, quoting the India Meteorological Department (IMD). 

Fresh low-pressure area

Rivers Manimala, Meenachil, Pampa and Achenkoil are flowing above the danger mark (red alert) while Karamana, Thodpuzha and Karuvannoor were on the brink (yellow alert). The flood waters had inundated a number of low-lying areas mainly in Central Kerala as well as vulnerable areas in the North and South.

This happened on a day when, true to projections, a second low of the current series in what looks like yet another productive August formed, throwing a fresh challenge to flood and landslide-hit Kerala. Scattered heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy falls may continue over the state until Monday.

According to the IMD, and isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy falls into Tuesday. Isolated heavy to very heavy falls is likely Coastal and South Interior Karnataka and Tamil Nadu during on Monday and Tuesday. 

 

More lows in the making

August has been showing a tendency over the past many years for such rain-generating systems to march in a procession from the Bay, often let loose from a pile off the Odisha coast. The short-to-medium model guidance from the IMD shows at least two more low’s in the making in the Bay, on the trail of the prevailing one.

This is the Bay’s way of making amends for what has been uneventful June and July when it looked like a ghost town, if not a graveyard for circulations which failed to go the whole hog. Isolated extremely heavy falls are also likely over South Interior and Coastal Karnataka and the Ghat sections of Tamil Nadu until Monday.

Arabian Sea to stay active

Meanwhile, the rainfall activity over North-West India too is predicted to increase from today (Sunday) onwards with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places along the hills and adjoining plains for the next two-three days. Some global models suggested that the Arabian Sea would continue to stay active until August 22.

Heavy rain is forecast for East and adjoining parts of Central India with heavy to very heavy rainfall over Odisha for three days until Tuesday; and over Vidarbha and Chhattisgarh on Monday and Tuesday. Isolated extremely heavy falls are likely over Odisha on Monday. 

Rains return to North India

An IMD outlook for Monday is as follows: 

Heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places over Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, North Punjab, West Uttar Pradesh, East Rajasthan and East Madhya Pradesh; Odisha; Coastal and South interior Karnataka and Kerala;  heavy rainfall over Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, East Uttar Pradesh, West Rajasthan, West Madhya Pradesh; Vidarbha, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, and the North-Eastern States; Konkan and Goa; Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and North Interior Karnataka.

Moderate to severe thunderstorm accompanied by lightning over Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, East Rajasthan, Bihar and  Jharkhand; with lightning and gusty wind (speed 30-40 km/hr) over West Rajasthan; with lightning over Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and plains of West Bengal;  the North-Eastern States; Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rayalaseema, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry.

 

 

 

 

True to projections, a second low-pressure area of the current series, in what looks like yet another productive August, has formed on Sunday morning over North-West and adjoining West-Central Bay of Bengal off the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh coast, throwing a fresh weather challenge to flood and landslide-hit Kerala on the other side of the peninsula.

Scattered heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy falls may continue over Kerala until Monday, and isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy falls into Tuesday, says the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Isolated heavy to very heavy falls is likely Coastal and South Interior Karnataka and Tamil Nadu during on Monday and Tuesday.

Kerala needs to be watchful

Kerala has to be watchful of any low-pressure area that brews off the Odisha coast, as Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director-General, IMD, had explained to BusinessLine on Friday. Coincidentally, August has been showing a tendency over the past many years for such rain-generating systems to march in a procession from the Bay, often let loose seemingly from a pile off the Odisha coast.

Clouds build up over South Peninsula and the Bay of Bengal   -  The Weather Company

 

As if on cue, the short-to-medium model guidance from the IMD now shows at least two more lows in the making one after the other in the Bay, on the trail of the prevailing one. This is the Bay’s making amends for what has largely been uneventful June and July when the sea looked like a ghost town, if not a graveyard, for circulations that failed to go the whole hog to become low-pressure areas.

Isolated extremely heavy falls are also likely over South Interior and Coastal Karnataka and the Ghat sections of Tamil Nadu until Monday.

Meanwhile, the rainfall activity over North-West India too is predicted to increase from Sunday onwards, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places along the hills and adjoining plains for the next two-three days.

Heavy rain for East India

Some global models suggested that the Arabian Sea would continue to stay active until August 22. The IMD sees heavy rain for East and adjoining parts of Central India with heavy to very heavy rainfall over Odisha for three days until Tuesday, and over Vidarbha and Chhattisgarh on Monday and Tuesday. Isolated extremely heavy falls are likely over Odisha on Monday.

The latest development in the Bay is even as a predecessor, having set off smashing spells over Kerala while travelling across Central India, stepped out from the Gujarat coast into the North-East Arabian Sea, intensified a round, and raced towards adjoining North-West Arabian Sea off Oman, the known refuge for such systems, and lies weakened back as a low-pressure area on Sunday morning.

Its umbilical cord is more or less in tact transpiring in the form of a trough (a narrow band of lower pressure capable of creating weather) extending from the North-West Arabian Sea off the Oman coast to South-East Uttar Pradesh across South Rajasthan and North Madhya Pradesh. But the successor rushing inland from the Bay might snap it off sooner than later.

Monsoon trough active

In addition, we have the all-important monsoon trough lying along its normal position and in an active mode, sustaining the impending spell of monsoon rains.

The IMD has said that strong southwesterly/westerly monsoon flows are prevailing over the Arabian Sea and along and off West Coast, and would stay as such for two days.

The monsoon trough on Sunday morning extended from Bikaner in Rajasthan and passed through Pilani, Delhi, Budaun, Sultanpur, Gaya, Kolkata and thence southeastwards to the center of the low-pressure area over North-West Bay of Bengal off Odisha-North Andhra Pradesh coasts, the perfect setting for active monsoon conditions with the tail of the trough moored in the Bay.

Forecast for Sunday

Detailed forecast for Sunday is as follows: Heavy to very heavy rainfall with extremely heavy falls over Kerala; Uttarakhand, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, West Uttar Pradesh, and East Rajasthan; hills of West Bengal, Sikkim, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalayan, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, and Tripura; Coastal and South Interior Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry;

Heavy rains likely over Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, East Uttar Pradesh, West Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh; Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and plains of West Bengal; Konkan and Goa and the Ghat areas of Madhya Maharashtra; and Coastal Andhra Pradesh.

Moderate to severe thunderstorm accompanied with lightning over Uttar Pradesh; with lightning and high winds over West Rajasthan; lightning over Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh Delhi, East Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Thunderstorm with lightning is likely also over Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Sikkim; Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura; Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rayalaseema and Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

Strong winds (50-60 km/hr) likely along and off Karnataka-Kerala coasts and Lakshadweep. Sea conditions could get rough over Maharashtra coast. Fishermen are advised not to venture into these areas.

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Published on August 09, 2020
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