Pune floods as Dams fill up

The incessant heavy downpour highly  affected Pune and the Konkan region, as public transport came to a halt.

Pune has received 55% more rainfall than the average this monsoon according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). The average annual rainfall figure for the city is 497mm but Pune has received rains exceeding 630mm this year, which is significantly higher.

Trains from Pune to Mumbai along the Manmad- Daund route have been cancelled. The Deccan Express, Singhad Express and the Manmad Express too have been cancelled because of the heavy rains.

The bridge on the Mutha river which connects Deccan with the city’s Peth area, was submerged in water as Khadakwasla Dam released a huge volume of water.

No damage to life and property have been reported yet , said the Pune Municipal Corporation(PMC) officials. But a number of tress have fallen due to the rains in certain parts of the city.

The continuous rainfall since Tuesday, September 19,  has filled the major dams around the state to its capacity. 23 dams out of 37 in the state had to release the excess water.

The intensity of the rainfall is  expected to reduce after Wednesday as per the IMD.

Sources: The Hindu

Image Source: The Hindu

Pune records highest rains in last four years

Pune city got 50% excess rainfall this year in the month of June. The city received 200.7 mm precipitation since the onset of monsoon, as per the data of Meteorological Department. It was 70mm more than normal June rainfall.

Pune made its place in the top 5 wettest districts, with Mahabaleshwar getting the highest rains at 180mm following Pune, Harnai (90 mm), Alibaug (70 mm) and Ratnagiri (40mm) in Konkan district as on Friday.

AK Srivastava, head, climate monitoring and analysis group at IMD, Pune said, “With the positive climate frameworks causing downpours over Konkan and Madhya Maharashtra anticipated that would move towards north, there might be a slight lessening in the precipitation power in the start of one week from now”.  However, the dams that supply water to Pune city are yet to see a calculable ascent in their water levels — Pawana and Panshet dams are 30 for every penny full while the circumstance in Warasgaon and Temghar are yet to see a change. IMD authorities have said that the power of the precipitation will decrease somewhat in the following a few days, and will increment again by July 5. ” clarified AK Srivastava, head, atmosphere observing and examination amass at IMD, Pune.

Despite heavy rainfall, Pawana and Panshet dams are 30% full.  IMD authorities have analysed rainfall to decrease in a few days, and will increment again by July 5.

Sources: Indian Express, Times of India

Monsoon detainment evokes further panic

Picture Courtesy – FirstPost

The nation is approaching yet another drought-like situation as the monsoon rainfall has downscaled by 45 percent in comparison to the average during the first monsoon showers.

The report by Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) recorded on Wednesday that only 43.4mm of rainfall was observed during the peak monsoon period between June 1 and 17, which was a stark deviance from the normal record of 78.8 mm. This is largely igniting the Government`s concern towards inflating agrarian economy, which is posing a massive challenge to the Modi regime. The second week of June observed some good showers over the western coast by the cyclonic storm Nanauk but the interior regions of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh still remain rain-deprived.

The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) has anticipated favorable rainfall in the west coast owing to the strong low pressure system over the Arabian Sea. However, the Western Ghats are still subjected to the inconvenience posed by the presence of a ridge towards its east. The report constituted that the monsoon activity would be below average over the Indian land. Experts hold the opinion that further delay of monsoon would further supersize the condition of drought in the country.

From Ladakh to Uttarakhand, we’ve learnt nothing

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An incessant downpour, ravaging torrents of water, livestock being swept away along with people as mighty river currents gushed through sub-urban streets and pilgrims seeking refuge midst the Gods. These were the scenes witnessed not just in Uttarakhand in the past few days, but also 1500 kilometres away in Ladakh. The difference just happened to be time.

On August the 6th, 2010, the area around Leh saw perhaps its most unusual natural phenomenon. It was described as a ‘high altitude cold desert’, for even at 3,500 metres from sea level, Ladakh stood under a constant rain-shadow. The average annual rainfall for the month was a meagre 15 mm. Not that day. Survivors would recall horror stories of cars, trucks and even people being carried away by flood water, after a massive cloudburst resulted in over 250 mm of rain in about 30 minutes in some parts.

For all those who don’t know, a rain gauge measure the intensity of rainfall by allowing water to trickle down its funnel in drops. These trickles when stacked up are measured by a scale on the gauge in millimetres. Now imagine the amount of rainfall over the area which amounted to 25 centimetres of water in a gauge. It was almost beyond imagination.

The following morning, Ladakh wasn’t as everyone remembered. The flood water brought in silt from the mountains that piled mud as high as 10 feet. Long forgotten boulders were tossed into houses as if stones flung by a child. Rescue efforts lasted well into the week. 255 people lost their lives that night. The Government described it as an unforeseen event of nature; an occurrence that no one could predict. Strangely enough, that wasn’t the case in Uttarakhand.

The Char Dham Yatra began on June the 13th of this year. The Indian Meteorological Department [IMD] predicted moderate to heavy showers in the region and notified the state government of the same. Over 60,000 pilgrims were set to embark on this journey and the state asked the IMD to confirm with its stations in the region. The IMD was unable to predict the exact intensity of rainfall over the dhams of Kedarnath or Badrinath because the proposed weather centres were never established in those areas. It was impossible to give an accurate forecast. The government flashed the green light on the yatra.

Graphic courtesy: downtoearth.org.in
Graphic courtesy: downtoearth.org.in

For the next three days, the IMD predicted heavy rains in the area, summarizing between 3.5 cm to 12 cm. It rained moderately in Dehradun that day. All was well for the journey, the state assured. The next day’s forecast was similar – heavy to very heavy rainfall. The government took no efforts to warn the pilgrims to find shelter as a precautionary measure. What followed those three days was something both the IMD and the state never saw coming. Dehradun itself measured 37 cm of rain on the 16th of June. The flooding had begun. The state still hadn’t reacted. Only an advisory committee was set up. The morning of the 17th of June, India woke up to nature’s fury. It was as if the mythical tales of devastation by Lord Shiva had come true. The holy shrines of Kedarnath was swept away by water and covered with 5 metres of silt. The government finally reacted. The army was called in. Roads were being repaired. Food was being transported. Sadly, it was all too late. 550 people were no more and some 100 hundred were still missing.

What happened in Ladakh was unforeseen, but in Uttarakhand, the IMD had warned about the weather. The state had sanctioned over 15 weather stations to be set over the past year in and around the holy dhams. They never happened. Even a slight degree of caution would have ended up in many lives being saved. Uttarakhand 2013’s flash flood’s page on Wikipedia was avoidable.