Wednesday August 3: Venturing to Bangalore during the monsoons is always a gamble. One moment you might enjoy the cool breeze and pretty clouds, loudly exclaiming how beautiful the weather is; and the next day you could be soaked from head to toe, wading in murky rainwater sometimes knee-deep.
This latter scenario was pretty much the fate of any Bangalorian who dared to leave their homes on the evening of Tuesday August 2. And as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast and dark skies have clearly shown, the torrential downpours across almost the entire state of Karnataka have no plans to slow down for at least the next three days. .
According to the IMD forecast, the following weather conditions will prevail over the southern state in the coming days:
- Fairly widespread to widespread rain accompanied by isolated heavy falls (64.5mm-115.5mm), thunderstorms and lightning across Karnataka Wednesday to Saturday (August 3-6)
- Isolated extremely heavy rain (204 mm) in the coast and southern interior of Karnataka from Wednesday to Friday (August 3 to 5)
- Very heavy isolated showers (115.5mm-204mm) over Southern Interior Karnataka on Saturday (August 6), Northern Interior Karnataka between Thursday and Saturday (August 4-6) and Coastal Karnataka over the weekend (August 6 and August 7)
In view of these forecasts, a red warning (meaning ‘take action’) has been issued over the coast and interior of South Karnataka for the next three days (until August 5). This will be followed by a amber alert (meaning “be prepared”) across the state on Saturday, August 6 to warn residents of inclement weather.
Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Chikmagalur and Shimoga districts will be on red alert until August 5. prepared’) alerts for the rest of the week.
These wet conditions over Karnataka can be attributed to two systems: a shear zone extending over southern peninsular India in the middle tropospheric levels and a north-south trough extending from southern Chhattisgarh to the Comorin region to the lower tropospheric levels.
Impact of furious rain in Karnataka
Light to moderate rains and thunderstorms disrupted normal life in the city of Bengaluru on Tuesday, leading to traffic jams and congestion in some low-lying areas like Sai Layout and Yelachenahalli. More than 50 vehicles were damaged by the downpours.
Five people were killed in rain-related incidents in Karnataka on Tuesday alone. A family of four have been killed after part of a hill collapsed on their house following heavy rains in Muttalli village of Bhatkal taluk in Uttara Kannada district. In another incident, a motorcyclist was swept away by flash floods in Kalaburagi district.
Meanwhile, incessant rain since Monday has claimed at least eight lives in coastal and northern districts of Karnataka. Nearly 500 people have been evacuated from their residences across the state in the past two days.
Heavy downpours between Murdeshwar and Bhatkal sections in Karwar region of Konkan Railway also disrupted railway lines after the region witnessed 403mm of rain in just five hours on Tuesday. According to the railway authorities, restoration work is still in progress.
Since the start of the monsoon season in June, rain-related incidents have claimed 39 lives and destroyed about 2,430 homes in Karnataka, according to official statistics released by the state government on Tuesday.
The intense rainfall activity has also impacted the state’s overall rainfall statistics. Between June 1 and August 2, Karnataka experienced “excessive” rainfall, recording 611.1mm of rainfall and deviating from its average of 470.5mm by 30%.
How to protect yourself from floods
Given the forecast for the week, flash flooding can occur at any time due to heavy rains, storm surges, coastal storms, or overflows from a local dam or other waterways. They can quickly become deadly, so it’s important to pay attention to any National Weather Service alerts for your area.
If you receive a flood warning, move to a safer location or stay put if you are already high up. Avoid crossing bridges as water can rise and destroy bridges without warning. Don’t try to wade through rainwater if you’re on foot – it only takes six inches of water to knock you over, especially if it’s moving fast.
Don’t use the electricity in a flooded house and don’t leave it on if you need to evacuate. If water touches live electrical outlets, you could be electrocuted or cause a devastating fire.
If you must leave your home, be sure to secure your home, bring outdoor furniture, and move essential items to an upper floor. Also, remember to turn off utilities at main switches or valves if instructed to do so, unplug electrical appliances, and avoid touching electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
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