New Delhi: Data from the Ministry of Earth Sciences shows that India has been witnessing increasing events of ‘extremely heavy’ and ‘very heavy’ rainfall since 2012.
The data shows that 185 weather stations across the nation reported ‘extremely heavy’ rainfall while in 2020, this increased to 341, nearly 85 per cent jump.
2019 itself saw around 554 stations reporting ‘extremely heavy’ rainfall, which was the highest since 2012.
The rainfall recorded below 15 mm is considered ‘light’, between 15 and 64.5 mm is ‘moderate’, between 64.5 mm and 115.5 mm is ‘heavy’ and between 115.6 mm and 204.4 mm is ‘very heavy’.
Anything above 204.4 mm is considered as ‘extremely heavy’ rainfall, according to IMD.
In India, June to September is the period for the Southwest monsoon and is considered as the main rainy season for the Indian subcontinent.
‘Heavy’ to ‘very heavy’ and ‘extremely heavy’ rainfall events occurred over different parts of the country during the monsoon season of 2020.
Due to such events, parts of Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Telangana suffered massive flooding.
In 2020, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had rescued and evacuated 19,241 people and 334 livestock.
Among the states, West Bengal reported the highest 258 deaths due to heavy rains and floods. It was followed by Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, both reporting 190 deaths each.
The Ministry also said that several scientific studies bring out the possible linkage of climate change with the sudden occurrence of rainfall and temperature extremes.
This year, monsoon arrived in Maharashtra and Goa two days in advance of its normal onset date.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) also said that the monsoon progressed very quickly over most parts of the country. It covered most of India in only 10 days mainly due to active monsoon circulation and the formation of a low-pressure area over Bay of Bengal.
Due to approaching of mid-latitude westerlies winds, the further progress of monsoon over remaining parts of northwest India is likely to be slow, the IMD said.