Friday, July 8: Almost as if exacting vengeance, the weather has remained brutal over Karnataka since the beginning of this week. Intensification of rains across the southern state these past 2-3 days triggered tragic landslides and flash floods. And now, forecasts predict that the state will continue seeing similar damp circumstances for the next five days at least.
While coastal Karnataka is known for its heavy rains during the monsoon months, meteorological factors around the southern state have also led to significant rainfall in its interior parts.
In the days to come, the primary driver of the wet conditions will be an off-shore trough that extends from south Maharashtra all the way to north Kerala. It is expected to dump continuous 50 mm/day rains all along the west coast along with a sprinkle of extremely heavy falls in localised areas, as per forecasts by the weather.com met team.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted isolated areas of coastal Karnataka to be lashed by extremely heavy rainfall on Friday (June 8) and heavy to very heavy falls on Saturday (June 9). Localised parts of south interior Karnataka will endure very heavy rainfall on Friday.
Apart from these areas, the rest of the state is likely to be engulfed by fairly widespread to widespread rainfall accompanied by thunder and lightning for the next five days (June 8-12).
These rampant conditions have led the IMD to put coastal Karnataka on a red warning (meaning ‘take action’) on Friday, while south interior Karnataka remains on an orange alert (meaning ‘be prepared’). But current forecasts indicate that the coastal region will likely be downgraded to an orange alert on Saturday and Sunday.
As for specific district-level warnings, the following areas will be under an orange alert or red warning for the next few days:
- Friday, July 8: Red warning over Uttar Kannada, Udupi and Dakshin Kannada; Orange alert over Shimoga, Chikkamaglur and Kodagu
- July 9: Red warning over Uttar Kannada, Udupi and Dakshin Kannada; Orange alert over Shimoga, Chikkamaglur and Kodagu
- July 10: Orange alert over Uttar Kannada, Udupi and Dakshin Kannada
- July 11: Orange alert over Uttar Kannada, Udupi and Dakshin Kannada
Chaos in Karnataka
The incessant rains pummelling the coastal and hilly areas for the past week have raised multiple red alarms after the state witnessed the loss of life as well as the destruction of public and private property.
This trail of destruction began sometime at the beginning of this week with Mangaluru reporting power outages, landslides, flooding as well as flight disruptions at its airport. On Wednesday, one of the roads to Mangaluru International Airport caved in due to water saturation, leaving a 10-15 metre hole in its place.
While no loss of life was reported from this city, the same could not be said for the Dakshina Kannada district, which witnessed the unfortunate death of three labourers from Kerala who succumbed to landslides in the area.
To add to the turmoil, several rivers have been flowing at dangerous levels for the past three days, raising concerns of flash floods in different parts of the state, especially in the Kaveri catchment area in Kodagu (Coorg).
In view of these conditions, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has announced that a meeting will be held to plan remedial measures. NDRF and SDRF teams have already been dispatched to Kodagu, Karwar and Udupi in case of any immediate emergencies.
Considering the wet spells of late, it is no surprise that rainfall since the beginning of July has been nothing but bountiful in Karnataka. All regions of the state have relished in large excesses of precipitation between July 1 and 7, with 699 mm (normal being 276 mm) of rain in the coastal subdivision, 50 mm (normal being 25 mm) in the northern interior region, and 112 mm (normal being 46 mm) in the southern interior region.
As for specific districts, Uttara Kannada (130 mm, 317% excess), Udupi (131mm, 217% excess) and Kodagu (48 mm, 110% excess) have also all recorded large excesses in rainfall since July 1.
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