Why in news?
Kerala once again stares at a flood situation with high-intensity rain triggered by strong monsoon winds
Reasons for Kerala Floods
- August in Kerala is regarded as the month of declining monsoon, saw a distinct peak, the highest over Long Period Average (LPA).
- The frequent formation of pressure lows and depressions over the north-west Bay of Bengal, their movement over the mainland and their further intensification caused an increasing flow of westerly and South-western winds over the Arabian sea along and off the Kerala coast.
- In addition, the frequent formation of low pressure over the mainland cause flow of equatorial monsoon winds towards the land. These strong wind interact with western ghats and caused rainfall.
- Opening of dams: Higher rainfall has forced the officials to release water from dozens of dams to prevent them from bursting.
- Human causes– Haphazard urban growth, destruction of the ecology of the western ghats, that added to this by landslides.
Gadgil on Kerala Floods
According to Gadgil the following activities have exacerbated the disaster caused by erratic monsoon.
- In ESZ-I which requires maximum protection following activities are undertaken: Use for non-forest purpose or agricultural activity, Extension of village settlement and Road and public infra expansion
- ESZ-II was allowed to renovate and extend existing structures such as hotels and resorts.
- ESZ-III was allowed to use land for non-agri purposes.
- Increase resilience of structures in the disaster prone regions.
- Ready-to-use contingency plans to cope with inundation, on the lines of the existing drought code is essential.
- Dams need to be properly managed to control floods
- Enhancement in the efficiency and reliability of the weather- and flood-forecasting systems to forewarn civic administrations of impending disasters for timely relief action.
- Unjustified human interventions in natural processes should be prohibited.
2016 UPSC Mains Question
The frequency of urban floods due to high-intensity rainfall is increasing over the years. Discussing the reasons for urban floods, highlight the mechanisms for preparedness to reduce the risk during such events. (250 words)