Thiruvananthapuram | Jagran News Desk: At least 24 people have been killed and many are missing as heavy rains pounded south and central Kerala causing flash floods and landslides in many parts of the state. This has prompted the state government to seek the assistance of the army and airforce for rescue operations of those struck in the catastrophe.

Kerala is experiencing heavy rains almost similar to the situation the state faced during the time of devastating floods of 2018 and 2019.

Rescue operation

The Central forces teams including 11 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), two Army and two Defence Service Corps teams have been deployed in Southern and Central parts of the states. A Navy chopper with relief materials has also been airborne from INS Garuda in Kochi and headed towards rain-affected areas, as reported by news agency PTI.

Alert issued

Meanwhile, the IMD on Sunday predicted a possibility of light to moderate rainfall at many places with only isolated heavy rainfall over Kerala during the next 24 hours and a further decrease thereafter. The weather forecasting agency has issued alerts for several states including different parts of Kerala that include Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Palakkad, and Thrissur.

Here's everything you need to know about why Kerala is witnessing heavy rains and landslides:

What has triggered this weather?

On October 14 according to IMD, a low-pressure system that developed in the east-central Arabian Sea moved closer to the Kerala coast. As a result, the southern Indian state began receiving heavy to very heavy rainfall. At least six of its districts received rainfall ranging from 115.5mm to 204.4mm in 24-hours, and extremely heavy rain over 204.4mm in 24-hours since Thursday.

Several people have been injured and displaced in the rain-related incidents. The dams in many districts are nearing their full capacity and small towns and villages in the hilly areas are totally cut off from the outside world.

“The situation is serious", Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said. However, the latest weather forecast indicates that the situation will get better.

What is the role of South West Monsoon in this?

Usually, the southwest monsoon season concludes in Kerala by September 30. However, this year, it has been unusually delayed. That is why the onset of northeast monsoon began by October 15.

IMD centre Thiruvananthapuram director K Santhosh explained, as quoted by The Indian Express, before the beginning of northeast monsoon, an anticyclonic wind has to form over the lower troposphere. That is why rainfall during the last four days (a localised phenomenon) got triggered due to the low-pressure system formed in the Arabian Sea impending before the starting of the northeast monsoon.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha