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NASA Releases Before And After Images Of The Kerala Floods

Written By Diyali Banerjee | Mumbai | Published:

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  • NASA has released the satellite images of the Kerala flood that show how the 'calamity of severe nature' had taken over the state
  • The before and after images released by the NASA Earth on its Twitter handle shows how the region drowned following the torrential monsoon rains

The US-based aeronautics and aerospace research organization 'National Aeronautics and Space Administration' (NASA) has released the satellite images of the Kerala floods that show how the 'calamity of severe nature' had taken over the state. The Kerala floods are said to be the worst that the region has faced in the past 100 years. Nearly 474 people have lost their lives so far owing to the floods. The before and after images released by the NASA Earth on its Twitter handle shows how the area drowned following the torrential monsoon rains. 

Here's the post:

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Identifying the incident as a "once-in-a-century" flood, the organisation stated how the unusually heavy monsoon rains that had hit Kerala and reported it as the worst flooding in the state since 1924. The flood situation has been created in Kerala since May 29. Hundreds of causalities were reported across the state and a million people were left homeless. According to the reports published by the Disaster Management control room, around 474 people have lost their lives as a result of the calamity. In addition, 15 people are missing, and 70 people are injured or hospitalised. The report reveals that there are 1,97,518 people currently lodged at 750 camps that have been set up across the state. In fact, over half of these people are sheltered in the camps in Alappuzha district since 13 out of 14 districts of the state were severally affected by the rains. 

NASA also shared an animated video in which it depicted the satellite-based rainfall accumulation starting from July 19 to August 18, 2018. In the Instagram post, it stated that Kerala received abnormally high rainfall on July 20 and again between August 8 and 16, 2018.

 

A Flood for the Century in India Abnormally heavy monsoon rains drenched Southeast Asia, leading to the worst flooding in the state of Kerala since 1924. The event, which started with rains on August 8, 2018, displaced over a million people, led to hundreds of deaths, damaged over 50,000 houses throughout the region, and severely affected 13 of the 14 districts in Kerala. While it brought the region's most intense flooding this summer, the rain was one of many high precipitation events in Kerala this monsoon season. The animation shows satellite-based rainfall accumulation starting from July 19 to August 18, 2018. Rainfall peaked in Kerala on July 20 and again reached abnormally high levels between August 8 and 16. Since the beginning of June, the region received 42 percent more rainfall than normal for this time period. In the first 20 days of August, the region experienced 164 percent more rain than normal. Kerala's August rain played a part in the nearly once-in-a-century flooding, although the flooding was worsened when water was released from several full dams. Instead of gradually releasing water during drier times, authorities were forced to open 80 dams in the region, including the Idukki Dam, which is one of the largest arch dams in Asia. Thirty-five of those dams were opened for the first time. “The dam releases came way too late, and it coincided with the heavy rain that was occurring,” said Sujay Kumar, scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Intense rainfall events have hit other areas of Southeast Asia as well. Eastern Myanmar experienced torrential downpours in mid-July and August, causing fatalities and displacing 150,000 people in one month. The floods were the worst in 30 years. The Bago and Sittaung rivers swelled to their highest levels in more than five decades, with the Sittaung river 7 feet above danger levels in areas. The animation shows heavy rain started to fall over Myanmar around July 29. These rainfall data are remotely-sensed estimates that come from the Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals (IMERG), a product of the Global Precipitation Measurement mission. Read more: https://go.nasa.gov/2ME1FMf

A post shared by NASA Earth Observatory (@nasaearth) on

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The flood situation worsened in the state as the gates to the dams were opened to avoid overflow. Instead of gradually releasing water during drier times, authorities were left with no option but to open the gates of the dams in the region. The gates of Idukki Dam, which is one of the largest arch dams in Asia, were also opened to release water. In fact, around 80 dams were opened in the flood-hit state out of which 35 were opened for the first time. The post quoted scientist Sujay Kumar at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center as saying that the decision to release water from the dams came too late and thus it coincided with the heavy rain. The organisation also stated that India is not the only country to suffer massive rainfall. Other South-Asian countries including Myanmar was also suffering due to torrential rains. 

 

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