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Even With Early Monsoon Coverage, 30% of India's Districts Have Received Deficient Rainfall

Villagers row country boats with their luggage to move to safer areas through floodwaters (AP)

Villagers row country boats with their luggage to move to safer areas through floodwaters (AP)

Overall, however, rainfall in India has remained 13% above normal due to excess precipitation in states such as Bihar and Assam.

Even as the southwest monsoon covered the entire country 12 days before the normal date last week, 30%, or 201 of the 683 districts, have received less than normal rainfall. These include all the nine districts in the national capital, as per data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

On June 26, the IMD announced that the southwest monsoon had covered the entire country even though the normal date for coverage was July 8. The monsoon had hit the country on June 1.

Between June 1 and July 2, nine state and Union territories (UTs) have seen deficient or large deficiency in rainfall. This ranges from 22% less than normal rainfall in Kerala to over 50% less rainfall in Delhi, Manipur, Mizoram, and Daman and Diu.

Delhi, which normally should have received 65.8 mm of rainfall as on July 2, had received less than half of it at just 30.5 mm, shows the data. Whereas Kerala, which normally witnesses 697.8 mm of rainfall during the said period, received 546.9 mm. The North-West and West Delhi districts have seen 92% and 82% deficiency in rainfall, respectively.

However, even with these deficiencies, the country has received 13% more than normal rainfall as on Thursday largely driven by excess rainfall in several eastern, northeastern and southern states.

Bihar has seen 66% more than usual rainfall, which has increased the danger of floods in the state, particularly in its northern areas. Within the state, 24 of the 38 districts have seen large excess in rainfall – over 60% more than normal.

Last year, Bihar had seen one of the most devastating floods in recent years, which affected at least 15 districts and millions of people.

Likewise, Assam and Meghalaya have received 24% and 28% more than usual rainfall, respectively. As a result, 22 districts in Assam have faced floods over the past few days, affecting over 16 lakh people with a death toll of 34. Last year too, Assam had faced severe floods which displaced millions.

Sikkim has also received more than double the rainfall it normally does -- the state recorded 945.5 mm of rainfall, 107% more than the normal 457.5 mm.

Other than these, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have all seen excess rainfall.

(With agency inputs)