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Flood Risks on Significant Increase in India

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Kerala Floods
Kerala Floods

Will Earth remain the same for centuries?  As I read phrases like Code red, it’s been terrible to see humanity suffering. The recent wildfires in Greece leaves us with anger and despair and with no hope, I wonder what will happen to all of us as years roll by.

Human Activities dating past from the Industrial Revolution saw the development of trade and rise of businesses and fossil fuel combustion which eventually resulted in global warming and the associated changes including increase in carbon dioxide we are seeing widespread around the globe. A Swedish scientist, Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927) was the first to propose a relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and temperature.  

As early as 1815 there occurred a massive volcanic eruption in Tambora in Indonesia which took us to a half a degree drop in temperature also because of less sunlight passed through the stratosphere. This also caused “the year without a summer” in Europe. Frosts and Cold sabotaged the growing season. It also broke the monsoon cycle in Asia and send India into famine and also triggered an outbreak of cholera. 

After all that famine and widespread occurrences around the globe, the Industrial, revolution which started in the early 19th Century set the Battle Ground for Global Warming. It is the point at which the human activity started influencing the climate. 

In the 20th Century we see strong evidence of global sea level rise due to global sea warming. It is currently rising at an increased rate and sea level is projected to rise at an even greater rate in this century.  

Global warming of 1.5°C would also lead to an expansion of the global land area with significant increases in runoff and an increase in flood hazard in some regions compared to present-day conditions. If we analyze the Flood lists in India and compare them with yesteryears its has been devastating. There is not even a single month in 2021 till date where there hasn’t been flooding in any part of the globe and in India to 

As Early as January, 2021 Hundreds Displaced by Floods in Tamil Nadu and were moved to 17 emergency shelters. Days of heavy rain caused the Thambirabarani river to break its banks on 13 January 2021, flooding areas close to the river in Tirunelveli district. 

Flooding was worsened by releases from Papanasam and Manimutharu Dams. According to India’s Central Water Commission (CWC), the Thambirabarani river reached a record high of 78.02 metres on 13 January at Kalladikurich, which is 3.02 metres above its previous highest flood level (HFL). 

Dozens of people are feared missing after a Himalayan glacier broke and smashed into dams in the state of Uttarakhand, northern India, early on 07 February 2021.A portion of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off causing floods that destroyed the Rishiganga hydropower project near Raini village and a dam under-construction on the river Dhauliganga near Tapovan. Many of those missing are thought to be workers from the construction site and residents of nearby villages. 

According to India’s Disaster Management DivisionTakutae had caused wind damage, flooding and rough seas. Fatalities were reported in the states of Kerala, Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra. As many as hundreds of people were thought to be missing after severe sea conditions and high waves caused a vessel to sink off the coast of Mumbai. Monsoon Rains in the month of June,2021 caused havoc in Mumbai and is still causing havoc in parts of Kerala like Kochi, Alleppey, Ratnagiri, Konkan and even higher north up in Himalayan  regions like Himachal Pradesh, Kinnaur, Sirmour. Heavy landslides have caused trouble in those regions. 

The NASA identifies 12 Indian cities  Paradeep, Kandla, Okha, Bhavnagar, Mumbai, Mormugao, Mangalore, Cochin, Khidirpur, Visakhapatnam, Chennai and Tuticorin to experience the impact of climate change and rising sea levels if the global warming is not contained. Depending on these predictions the country needs to plan and develop effective mitigation and adaptation techniques otherwise it would be really difficult to live under these circumstances. 

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Hey! I am Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan. Did you liked this article and have suggestions to improve this article? Mail me your suggestions and feedback.

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