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Experts Explain What Is Causing Heavy Rains That Killed Dozens In Uttarakhand And Kerala Over The Past Few Days

Heavy rains in Kerala and Uttarakhand have led to death of dozens of people and the destruction of property

Experts Explain What Is Causing Heavy Rains That Killed Dozens In Uttarakhand And Kerala Over The Past Few Days
Highlights
  • Rains have claimed at least 28 lives in Uttarakhand in the last two days
  • Nainital was cut off from the rest of the state due to Landslides
  • Death toll due to rains and landslide in Kerala rose to 27 on October 18

New Delhi: A confluence of cyclonic storms forming in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea is among the biggest reasons behind heavy rains in different parts of the country over the past few days that have claimed dozens of lives in Uttarakhand, Kerala and other states, experts said on Tuesday (October 19). Climate experts also warn the intensity of rains in Kerala and Uttarakhand is “alarming” and must draw immediate attention towards “climate emergency”.

Also Read: Over 99.9% Scientific Papers Agree Humans Caused Climate Change, Study

The latest rains in Kerala are a result of a normal climatic event called retreating monsoon that happens every year. However, the intensity of rains there and in Uttarakhand is alarming and must draw our attention to the severity of climate emergency. We have seen a steady rise in the number of adverse climatic events over the past few years and as a tropical country, I believe it is time India takes solid steps to help meet the climate targets as events since the past few years and this trend seems to be getting worsened, said Kamal Narayan Omer, CEO, Integrated Health and Wellbeing Council (IHW Council).

Ishteyaque Ahmed, Senior Climate Campaigner, Greenpeace India, said,

These rains were a consequence of the cyclonic storms from the east and the west and can lead to huge environmental losses and derail food security of the country. Rising oceanic temperatures can strengthen otherwise weak cyclones and make them deadlier than expected. India is facing this crisis from three sides. In the last few days cyclonic storms are continuously forming in the Bay of Bengal as well as in the Arabian Sea. The confluence of such eastern and western storms is among the biggest causes of such disastrous rains in different parts of the country. These untimely erratic rains, responsible for big human and environmental losses can derail the food and nutritional security initiatives of the country, which is already at the brink of a major food and nutrition crisis.

Also Read: Climate Change And UN Panel’s Five Possible Temperature Rise Scenarios Explained

He also said that more such extreme weather events can occur in the future.

In a transitional phase, it is next to impossible to predict the future, but seemingly rising oceanic temperatures and destruction of floral and faunal aquatic lives, more frequent and frightening extreme weather events cannot be ruled out, says V Vinoj, Assistant Professor, IIT Bhubaneswar.

Our states and the country as whole need to be “climate smart”. He suggested a specific warning system to be installed that could tackle the climate situation better. It is now well-known that anthropogenic climate change will lead to extreme weather patterns. Therefore, it is now imperative that their impacts on life and property are minimised by following locally relevant adaptation measures. In parallel, efforts on mitigation should be hastened so as to slow climate change. A specific warning system taking in to consideration the local vulnerabilities will go a long way in saving lives. In addition to this adaptation measures, again taking climate resilience as the central issue will be beneficial in the long run.

Also Read: Study Shows Young Generations Are Severely Threatened By Climate Change

Incessant rains have claimed at least 28 lives in Uttarakhand in the last two days, razing houses to the ground and leaving many trapped in the debris. Nainital was cut off from the rest of the state with three roads leading to the popular tourist spot blocked due to a series of landslides. Landslides have blocked the exits in the town and electricity, telecom and internet connectivity in Nainital district have also been hit badly. The death toll in incidents related to heavy rains, including landslides and flash floods in Kerala rose to 27 on Monday (October 18). Meanwhile, a red alert has been issued for 11 dams across Kerala as water levels have breached the danger mark in several areas. Heavy rains are again expected in the state between October 20 and 24.

Also Read: Climate Change Causing Drop In Brightness Of Earth: Study

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity,  that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India. 

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