The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) will begin its assessment of the southwest monsoon scenario in the State on July 15 against the backdrop of a weak monsoon that is yet to revive from an extended lull.
The mid-season assessment, based on national-level drought-management parameters, will extend over three to four days. Based on the outcome, the KSDMA will issue recommendations, if required, regarding water conservation and drought-mitigation measures to the districts and government departments concerned, KSDMA member secretary Sekhar L. Kuriakose said.
“This is an annual mid-southwest monsoon season review and can be termed a first-stage activity of the KSDMA. Among other things, we will be looking at multiple parameters such as forecasts made by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), reports of the Central Groundwater Board, reservoir levels and streamflow index for all 44 rivers,” Mr. Kuriakose said.
The southwest monsoon, which set in over Kerala on June 8 — delayed by over a week — is yet to turn active after the initial vigour. The State has recorded a deficit in rainfall of 39% between June 1 and July 8, with all 14 districts reporting deficiency. The State has received a cumulative rainfall of only 434.5 mm during the period, although it should have received 717.6 mm. Kannur, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Wayanad and Pathanamthitta have recorded a deficit of 50% or above.
The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB also is set to review the situation on July 15. As on Sunday, hydel reservoirs had a combined storage of 11%, enough to generate just 469.7 million units. Last week, briefing the media after a review, KSEB Chairman and Managing Director N.S. Pillai had said that the power utility would not impose power restrictions till July 15.
Officials at IMD’s Meteorological Centre in Thiruvananthapuram said that the chances of the monsoon turning active over the State in the next five days was rather low.
The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) has warned that high waves in the range of 2.5 to 3.2 metres are likely to lash the Kerala coast till Wednesday midnight.