Rain surge likely this week, floods feared

Rain

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A depression was set to hit Odisha on Tuesday night.
  • Heavy rain is possible, raising the possibility of floods.
  • The depression is likely to make landfall between Puri and Gopalpur.

NEW DELHI: Heavy rain is expected in Odisha and neighbouring areas, raising the possibility of floods, as a depression was set to hit the state on Tuesday night. It’s likely to move west through central India over the next five-six days, invigorating the monsoon across the region and taking the seasonal rainfall back into the surplus zone.

The depression is likely to make landfall between Puri and Gopalpur. “In the next 24 hours, heavy rains will centre around south Odisha, north coastal Andhra, south Chhattisgarh and Telangana,” said M Mohapatra, head of IMD‘s National Weather Forecasting Centre.

In a tweet, Madhavan Rajeevan, secretary, ministry of earth sciences, said, “Widespread rains with heavy spells are expected in next 8-10 days over central and northwest India.” An official release warned that several rivers and tributaries were likely to observe rapid rise in water levels.

While the heaviest rain over the next week is expected in central India, as the weather disturbance moves west, north and east India too may get some good rain spells. Sutlej too has been put on flood alert after water was discharged from the gates of Karcham Wangtoo Dam and Nathpa Jakhri Dam in Himachal Pradesh. Heavy showers have also been forecast in parts of Uttarkashi, Dehradun, Chamoli, Rudraprayag and Bageshwar in Uttarakhand for the next 24 hours.

 “Flood is not a disaster in itself. It becomes disaster in certain circumstances,” said Himanshu Thakkar of the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People, while articulating how floods helped agriculture by raising soil fertility through silt. “We need to be prepared in areas prone to floods. We should also have a proper flood warning system,” said Thakkar.

 Monsoon entered an active phase two-three days ago after a rather sluggish first half of July. While the overall rainfall across the country is currently 100% (neither a surplus nor a deficit), July has a 3.5% deficit so far.

Meanwhile, the monsoon further advanced into more parts of west Rajasthan and Haryana on Tuesday. The rain system now covers around 90% of the country, with just a portion of Punjab and small parts of Rajasthan and Haryana out of its ambit.

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