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Record Rainfall of 300mm in 24 Hours Caused Flash Floods in Hyderabad, Neighbouring Districts

People stranded after flooding in Hyderabad.

People stranded after flooding in Hyderabad.

The record rainfall meant that Hyderabad became the latest urban centre of India to experience the hazards of an extreme weather event.

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Nikhil Ghanekar

With 300mm of rainfall recorded at Hayathnagar in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, the region recorded its highest rainfall in a 24-hour period for the year 2020. This amount of rainfall in a 24-hour period has happened in the Greater Hyderabad region only once before. However, Met officers could not confirm the exact year as heavy rains had disrupted their servers.

The record rainfall meant that Hyderabad became the latest urban centre of India to experience the hazards of an extreme weather event. Already in this year, extreme rainfall events battered Jaipur, Bihar, Saurashtra region of Gujarat, coastal Karnataka and Maharashtra and even parts of Madhya Pradesh.

A deep depression weather system that formed over Bay of Bengal over the weekend passed near Kakinada coast on Tuesday morning and dumped record rainfall in many districts of Telangana. Ranga Reddy district, Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district, Medchal-Malkajgiri district and Hyderabad district received the most rainfall owing to this weather system. Between Tuesday and Wednesday morning, Hayathnagar received 300mm rain, Yadadri Bhuvagiri received 250mm rainfall while Hakimpet district in Medchal-Malkajgiri received 200mm of rains.

In the main parts of Hyderabad city, Begumpet station recorded 190mm rain while Golconda station recorded 180mm of rainfall.

“The deep depression system moved directly over these regions that received the heavy rainfall. As the system was passing over Telangana, we were also experiencing strong winds from the western coast. However, the worst is over for Telangana as the system has moved towards north interior Karnataka. Today and tomorrow, south Telangana will received low to moderate rainfall,” said A Sravani, Scientist and Flood Meteorological Officer, India Meteorological Department (IMD), Hyderabad.

The Hyderabad floods happened just on the day the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) of the United Nations released a report warning the world about the need to develop early warning systems to cope with climate-related hazards. The WMO report said that between 1970 and 2019, 79% of disasters worldwide involved weather, water and climate-related hazards.

These disasters, the report said, accounted for 56% of deaths and 75% of economic losses from disasters associated with natural hazards events reported during this period. “Over the last 10 years (2010-2019), the percentage of disasters associated with weather, climate and water related events increased by 9% compared to the previous decade – and by almost 14% with respect to the decade 1991-2000,” the report stated.

Asia is the most susceptible to climate-related hazards. Between 1970 and 2019, 3,456 disasters were reported leading to a loss of 9, 75,778 lives and economic damages worth US$ 1,204 billion. Most of these disasters were associated with floods and storms. While storms took more lives, floods led to more economic losses, the report said.

Rains expected in Maharashtra, west coast

As the deep depression has now moved towards Karnataka and Maharashtra, IMD said that heavy rains are expected in central Maharashtra, Marathwada, Konkan coast and north Karnataka. “The deep depression will weaken into a low-pressure area. As it moves towards west coast, the weather system will gain more energy from Arabian Sean and cause heavy rainfall in Maharashtra on Wednesday, south Konkan. We have already issued warnings for these regions,” said Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director-General, IMD.


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