India: Kerala State Criticised For Delays In Flood Relief

28 Oct 2021 by The Water Diplomat

The State Government in Kerala, India, has been criticised this month by a spokesperson from the South Asia Network for Dams, Rivers, and People, for not opening the state’s dams sooner.

Several reservoirs in Kerala have reached red-alert level this week due to recent heavy rainfall.

The State Government has now decided to open a number of dams across the region to prevent any overflowing.

However, the flash flooding across Kerala has already claimed over 180 lives.

In an interview with Business Standard this week, Himanshu Thakkar said the Government had a habit of waiting until the last moment.

He said: “They have not learned from their mistakes in 2018. When you are aware that further rains are coming, [you should act more quickly].”

Thakkar referred to the 2018 Kerala floods, which occurred during a particularly heavy monsoon season in August. Over 483 people were reported dead, with 14 still missing.

Experts are attributing the extreme flooding in Kerala to the climate crisis, as the higher temperatures have resulted in lesser snow in the Himalayas and sent large volumes of water downstream.

Over 4,000 families that were living in downstream regions have been evacuated by district administrators and sent to relief camps across the state.