The monsoon rains upon which farmers in the southwestern state depend for their food and livelihoods dumped two-and-a-half times the normal amount of water across the state last week, according to Indian meteorologists.
It is difficult to attribute any single extreme weather event—such as the Kerala flooding—to climate change, said Roxy Mathew Koll, a climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pashan, near Mumbai.
At the same time, “our recent research shows a three-fold increase in widespread extreme rains during 1950-2017, leading to large-scale flooding,” he told AFP.
Across India, flooding caused by heavy monsoons rainfall claimed 69,000 lives and left 17 million people without homes over the same period, according to a study he co-authored, published last year in Nature Communications.
In Kerala, all 35 of the state’s major reservoirs were brimming with rain water by August 10, forcing local authorities to open the sluice gates on the Idukki Dam for the first time in 26 years.