Speaking Of Asia

Kerala's flood lessons and the Asia project

Asia must learn lessons from the devastating Kerala floods to prepare for future horrors that will surely come

Early this month, two low-pressure systems developed in the Bay of Bengal below Myanmar and Bangladesh, the second of them going on to form what is known in meteorological terms as a "depression". This attracted winds from the high-pressure regions of the southern Indian Ocean 2,500 km away to the south-west. The swollen monsoon clouds off the Indian coast above Sri Lanka reacted, heading swiftly towards the north-east before coming up hard against a mountain formation called the Western Ghats.

Their progress halted, the swirling moisture-filled clouds dumped a good part of their burden where they stood: For the week from Aug 8, Kerala, a tourist haven facing the Arabian Sea famous for its picturesque lagoons and Ayurvedic massages, had more than 3.5 times the normal rainfall.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2018, with the headline 'Kerala's flood lessons and the Asia project'. Print Edition | Subscribe