India - Loss from northeast monsoon pegged at ₹11,916.3 crore

06.12.2021 580 views

Faced with the fourth consecutive year of flooding and landslips since 2018, two months of the northeast monsoon alone has caused massive losses in terms of damage to life, property, and crops. The overall estimated damage caused by the rain in October and November alone has been pegged at ₹11,916.3 crore and as per the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) norms, ₹1,281.92 crore.

As per the estimates of the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC), untimely heavy rain during October and November has seen 42 human lives lost owing to flooding, 20,083 houses damaged, and 7.9 lakh ha of agricultural crops, 1.25 lakh ha of horticultural crops, 0.75 lakh ha of plantation crops, and 243 ha of sericultural crops damaged. The crop loss owing to floods is estimated at ₹8,962.02 crore

“The unprecedented incessant rainfall led to over-saturation of soil and inundation of crop fields for more than a week to a month resulting in significant damage to standing crops near harvesting stage. Further, heavy rainfall during November also destroyed most of the rabi crops, such as Bengal gram, cotton, jowar, maize, and chilli. Long duration cloudy situation led to pest and disease to plantation crops such as grapes, coffee, arecanut, and pepper, causing immense misery to farmers,” KNDMC officials said, adding that there had also been large-scale damage to houses and critical infrastructure such as roads, schools, and government offices.

This includes 19,366 km of State highways, and major district, village, and urban roads; 1,258 bridges/culverts, 7,204 poles, 1,008 power supply transformers up to 11-kV, 446 km power supply lines, 439 minor irrigation tanks, 977 water supply schemes, and 7,711 government buildings.

According to the statement showing the amount required for relief, rescue and emergent works due to flood during the two months, the estimated infrastructure damage is ₹2,630.99.

Rainfall patterns

Officials from the disaster management centre pointed out that there has been large intra-seasonal variability of rainfall in the State, particularly since 2011, leading to floods and droughts simultaneously, and in 2021, Karnataka has been persistently experiencing extreme events since May 2021.

During the northeast monsoon — between October 1 and November 21 — simultaneous cyclonic circulation and low pressures over the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea resulted in untimely incessant widespread heavy rainfall over the State, especially in the south-interior Karnataka, Malnad, and coastal regions. This resulted in the State receiving 85% more rainfall than normal, resulting in 23 out of 31 districts recording excess to large excess rainfall, officials said.

Overall, the State recorded normal rainfall this year from January 1 to November 30: 1,144 mm as against the normal rainfall of 1,317 mm with a percentage departure of 15.

During the pre-monsoon season (January 1 to May 31), the State recorded 74% departure from normal, falling under the ‘large excess rainfall’ category, while during the southwest monsoon season (June 1 to September 30), Karnataka saw a -8 % departure — classified as normal.

The northeast monsoon (October 1 to November 30) was an 87% departure, making the State fall under the ‘large excess’ category.

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