Observing a severe flooding over southern part of India in monsoon season of 2019

Abstract

Kerala is one of the most flood prone states of India due to its geographical location and topography. In recent decades, the frequency and intensity of flood has significantly increased in Kerala. Floods that occurred in the year 2007, 2009, 2014 and 2018 resulted in heavy damage in the form of lives and properties. This research focuses on exploring a recent flood event of Kerala in July–August 2019 using observations from space. Enhanced convective activities over Kerala were resulted due to movement of a low-pressure system westwards from Bay of Bengal towards coastal Arabian Sea under favourable conditions. Results report that excess cumulative rainfall resulting from multi-day extreme precipitation events due to enhanced convection during July and August resulted in catastrophic flood events over various parts of Kerala. Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode and Palakkad districts of north Kerala were affected more as compared to other region. Kannur district received a cumulative rainfall of about 1300 mm from multiple rainy spells during July and August of 2019. Peak rainfall was recorded on August 08, 2019. A peak hourly rainfall of about 60 mm/h was recorded at 1230 UTC on August 08 over Kannur district. These multiple heavy to very heavy rainfall episodes led to severe flooding over Kerala resulting in huge damage. Present research emphasizes on the importance of space-borne satellite remote sensing in monitoring of flood events in order to envisage preparedness and mitigation in flood scenarios.

Highlights

  • Flood event over southern part of India has been explored from space observations

  • Kerala, a state in south India, suffered a severe flood due to multi-day heavy precipitation

  • Technique described in this manuscript can be used for disaster preparedness

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Acknowledgements

Funding support from HRDG CSIR through Grant Number 24(0350)/17/EMR-II is thankfully acknowledged. Useful suggestions from two anonymous reviewers helped in improving the quality of the research.

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Anoop Kumar Mishra has collected and analysed the data and had written the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Anoop Kumar Mishra.

Additional information

Communicated by Kavirajan Rajendran

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Mishra, A.K. Observing a severe flooding over southern part of India in monsoon season of 2019. J Earth Syst Sci 130, 2 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12040-020-01509-7

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Keywords

  • Disaster
  • cloud burst
  • monsoon
  • flood