Church & Society

Flood-hit Kerala picks up the pieces September 06, 2018

The Indian subcontinent's south west monsoon starts at the southern point of India in early June, and the rainy season continues in the state of Kerala for almost three months. But this year, rains were longer and heavier, bringing floods, landslides and death.

The unusual rains, 257 percent more than normal, particularly in mid-August, caused the worst flooding in Kerala's history claiming 483 lives and displacing 1,247,000 people to some 3,270 relief camps.

As rain filled most of 54 dams in the tiny state with water, officials were forced to open sluices of 35 of them, some without adequate warning and preparation. Overflowing rivers within hours ploughed through residential areas, inundating villages, washing away homes, roads and bridges.

Recent research indicated huge fluctuations in the monsoon winds carrying the moisture from the Arabian Sea has been a reason for the unprecedented heavy rains.

As the water receded by the end of August, it was time for rebuilding and cleaning. 

Photos by Shine Thomas, Kochi for  


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