Rain takes a 48-hour break in Jharkhand

Source: telegraphindia.com

Most parts of Jharkhand won’t have rain for the next 48 hours due to a weak monsoon trough, weathermen said on Thursday.

The axis of the monsoon trough at mean sea level was passing through Sri Ganganagar (Rajasthan), Narnaul (Haryana), northwest Madhya Pradesh and south Uttar Pradesh, stretching to Bankura (Bengal), Mizoram till Bangladesh.

Director of Ranchi Met Centre S.D. Kotal said rainfall had reduced due to the weakening of monsoon currents over Jharkhand. “The currents are expected to regain strength after the next 48 hours,” he said.

A bulletin issued by the Ranchi Met on Thursday afternoon indicated thunderstorm with lightning at a few places over Jharkhand on Sunday, August 18.

Met data revealed districts in northeastern parts including Pakur, Sahebganj, Godda and Deoghar had rain in the past 24 hours. Pakuria in Pakur recorded 85mm and Rajmahal in Sahebganj recorded 25mm. Pockets of Dhanbad and Bokaro districts and Jamshedpur recorded 10mm.

Against a normal of 676.1mm, Jharkhand has so far received 455.4 mm, a deficit of 33 per cent. Sahebganj is the only district with 11 per cent surplus. 

HEAVY RAINS IN BAG FOR RANCHI, HAZARIBAGH, JAMUI FOR THE NEXT TWO TO THREE DAYS

Source: skymetweather.com

The weather over the eastern states of Bihar and Jharkhand was running consistently warm and humid with a cloudy sky. Though, scattered places have received light to moderate rains in the last 24 hours.

As on August 10, the state of Bihar is running rain deficit by 7%, while Jharkhand is rain deficient by 36%. Presently, a Cyclonic Circulation lies over northern parts of Bay of Bengal. An upper air Trough is extending from North Bihar to this system across Jharkhand. While, the eastern end of Axis of Monsoon Trough is also running across Central parts of Jharkhand.

This Cyclonic Circulation over North Bay of Bengal will be intensifying into a Low-Pressure Area during the next 24 to 36 hours and will be moving Northwestwards.

Under all these weather conditions, the rainfall over the states of Bihar and Jharkhand will increase during the next two to three days.

Hence, light to moderate rains are likely at many places over these states. Places like Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Jamui, etc may receive heavy showers. Though, Northeast parts of Bihar will experience light rains at scattered places.

There will be relief from the ongoing warm weather in the states as temperatures will be decreasing in the upcoming days as soon as the rains take over. Also, these rains will turn out useful for the ongoing paddy crops.

Bihar Likely to Declare 22 Districts Drought-Hit After August 15

source: newsclick.in

Patna: A long dry spell during the ongoing “shrawan” month is worrying Dinesh Mahto and Nagendra Yadav. Both the farmers are disappointed with the poor monsoon so far, as they are yet to transplant paddy saplings due to lack of water.  Both Mahto and Yadav are marginal farmers in Paliganj of Patna district and are fearing another drought this year. “We are certain of another sukha(drought) because the rain god is giving us sleepless nights this time like last year.”Mahto said.

Yadav said this has become an annual problem as farmlands turn dry due to lack adequate water for transplantation of paddy seedlings. “We are still hopeful of rainfall,” he added.

Mahto and Yadav are among millions of farmers, nearly two-thirds of Bihar’s population of 10.5 crore, who are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood.

Not only that, nearly two-thirds of all agricultural activity in the state is dependent on the rains .For most of the state’s population, therefore, a good monsoon is often the difference between life and death.

The Bihar government has targeted paddy cultivation on 33 lakh hectares this year. But till date, paddy transplantation has been reported on less than half of the target.

Bihar Agriculture Minister Prem Kumar on Friday expressed concern over the drought like situation in 22 of 38 districts of the state. “The state government has so far not declared any district drought-hit. If the dry spell continues till August 15, the government will decide whether to declare the number of districts as drought-hit”, he said.

He said the government will hold a meeting on August 18 on the drought situation. “We are keeping a close watch on the drought-like situation this time like last year”, he added.

Kumar said “if there is no rainfall in next five to six days, the government will prepare to face drought and will declare the state drought-hit any time after August 15”.

An official in chief minister office told NewsClick that Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had instructed top officials to prepare data to declare the number of districts drought-hit, as it has become a stark reality.

Bihar’s is facing a drought-like situation because of a peculiar situation, as monsoon rainfall has remained confined to 16 districts, resulting in floods, while there is deficit rainfall in 22 districts, according to officials.

Agriculture and weather experts have advised the government to wait till the end of second week of August for rainfall before declaring the state as drought-hit.

Like millions of farmers, the state agriculture minister is also hopeful that Bihar may receive rainfall in the next 48 hours in view of the cloudy weather and reports of light rains in few places in the past 24 hours.

According to officials of agriculture department, poor rainfall had affected paddy sowing and plantation, triggering fears of another drought.

Agriculture is the backbone of Bihar’s economy, employing 81% of the workforce and generating nearly 42% of the state’s domestic product, according to the state government’s figures. About 76% of Bihar’s population is dependent on agriculture for livelihood. 

Reports reaching in Patna said unlike in the past, there was no water for irrigation in the canals. A large part of central Bihar is irrigated by water from the Sone river, brought in through canals.

Meanwhile, a few farmers have managed to save paddy crops transplanted last month by pumping ground water and others, too, are trying this for now.

Jharkhand stares at drought with 40% rainfall deficit

Source: indiatoday.in

Heavy showers, which had lashed some areas of Jharkhand a few days ago, had given local farmers hopes of more rains. But the rain clouds seem to have given a go-by to the state for the time being, pushing the farmers into distress as only 10 days of the sowing season are left.

According to the Met Department, the average rainfall in Jharkhand is so far deficit by 40 per cent. Since there is lack of rainfall in the majority of districts, agricultural work has been adversely hit. Even if it rains the next week, it is unlikely that sowing targets would be achieved.

In the last 24 hours, Ranchi and few other districts have received less than 10 mm of rainfall. Scientists at the local Met Department say that there has been lack of monsoon activity in the Bay of Bengal. On some occasions, however, low pressure did form but the system was weak and insufficient to cause rainfall. Despite the state remaining mostly under cloud cover, it never rained properly.

Weather scientist SD Kotal of the Met Department said that it has not rained in Jharkhand as per expectations. He, however, said that rains are expected in the state in the next four days as a new low pressure area is likely to develop in the Bay of Bengal.

Sahibganj district is the only exception which has received more than 14 per cent of average rainfall at 793.2 mm. In other districts like Dumka, Jamtara, Kodema, Lohardaga and Palamu rainfall has been less than 24 per cent while the situation was worse in Khunti, Godda, Chatra, Hazaribagh, Latehar, Garhwa, Pakur, Ranchi, among others.

Such has been the extent of the monsoon let down that in the two months after it hit the state, sowing of paddy could only be taken up in 26 per cent of the area.

Crop failed due to lack of rain, Jharkhand farmer hangs self

Source: indianexpress.com

“Depressed” over his worsening financial condition, a 50-year-old farmer allegedly hanged himself at his home in Dhadhauli village, in Jharkhand’s Gumla district, on Monday night, it emerged on Wednesday.

Family members said Shiva Khariya had sown paddy but it failed due to lack of rain, which deteriorated his “mental condition”.

Deputy Commissioner Gumla Shashi Ranjan, however, said stress may not be the only reason behind the suicide. “He was also an alcoholic, and over the last few days had fever. He did not eat anything.”

Khariya’s family was a beneficiary of the LPG connection under the Central government’s Ujjwala scheme, Ranjan added.

This came days after a farmer from Ranchi district allegedly killed himself, with his family claiming that the government authorities did not clear dues for building materials for a well dug on his land under the Mahatma National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

Khariya’s wife Mangri Devi said he had mortgaged land for their son and daughter’s weddings. She said: “Farming is limited to the three-four months during the monsoon; there is no water the rest of the year. Over the years, we survived on free ration and some rice and urad dal produced on our farm. Our sons go out for work, but the money they send home is not sufficient.”

Land records show Khariya owned 13 acres of land; the family said half of that had been “mortgaged”.

Khariya’s son Birsa, 25, said his father did not eat the rice and starch cooked at home on Monday night and went to sleep. “We found his body, hanging, the next day,” he said.

The family has an MNREGA job card but has not taken any job for the last five years, with family members claiming that the low wages and a bigger payment cycles dissuade them.

Village head Sushila Soren said most people in all three villages under Kasira panchayat are farmers but people temporarily leave for other areas in search of jobs after the monsoon. “Under MGNREGA, payment cycles have been absurdly delayed by more than 45-60 days. Even when money comes, there there is misdirection of wages and people do not get it. This has led to a belief that there will be no payment under MGNREGA,” Soren said.

Panchayat secretary Ravindra Kashyap said farmers who had availed schemes such as well construction in 2017-18 have not received material payments yet.

But maintaining that MGNREGA payment error in Gumla is “less than 1 per cent”, the DC, Ranjan, said, “There are some problems regarding material payments, but the dues are cleared periodically.”

Train Services Remain Suspended as Bihar Struggles to Recover from Monsoon Floods

Source: weather.com

As the floodwater recedes, daily life in the flood-affected Bihar is yet to regain normalcy. Train services on the Samastipur-Darbhanga section in Bihar remain suspended, as bridge number 16 between Hayaghat and Thalwar under Samastipur continues to face the floodwater threat.

Speaking to The Times of India, an East Central Railway official confirmed that 11 passenger trains have been cancelled so far, and at least eight more have been short-terminated. Safety staff members from the engineering and traffic wings have been deployed at multiple strategic points to keep tabs on the water levels at every bridge in Samastipur.

On Monday, the death toll in the state reached 127, while over 85 lakh people are estimated to be affected by the flooding. The massive deluge that hit Bihar earlier this month was caused by torrential rainfall in the northern parts of the state as well as the Terai region of Nepal. The Centre has continued to assist the state government, with PM Narendra Modi personally coordinating with Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.

The India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) data shows that, despite the late arrival of monsoon, Bihar has received slightly more than average rainfall in this season. The seasonal normal for Bihar is 496.3 mm. However, the state has received 513.3 mm until July 29. The forecasts show that Bihar is likely to receive isolated rainfall and thunderstorms in one or two places for the next few days.

Death Toll in Assam, Bihar Floods Reaches 198

Source: thewire.in

New Delhi: The death toll in Bihar and Assam floods mounted to 198 on Thursday, with more than 1.17 crore people affected by the calamity in the two states, officials said.

In Assam, the death toll climbed to 75 with one more person succumbing in Dhubri, while water level rose in seven districts of the state.

Due to release of excess water from Kuricchu Hydropower reservoirs in Bhutan’s Kuricchu River, western Assam districts of Barpeta, Nalbari, Baksa, Chirang, Kokrajhar, Dhubri and South Salmara are facing rise in flood water level.

According to the Assam State Disaster Management (ASDMA), 34,92,734 people in 2,753 villages in 18 districts are affected by the deluge.

Flood water entered Bihar’s West Champaran, taking the total number of deluge-hit districts in the state to 13 on Thursday. But with no fresh deaths reported, the toll remained unchanged at 123, officials said.

West Champaran was inundated following torrential rains in the past few days, they said.

The Bihar Disaster Management Department said 82.12 lakh people under 1,241 panchayats of 106 blocks in the 13 districts were affected by the flood, and relief and rehabilitation work was going on in full swing.

An ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh was provided to the next of the kin of each deceased, while every family surviving the calamity was being given Rs 6,000 through direct benefit transfer.

Above-average rainfall predicted

The Indian Meteorological department, meanwhile, has predicted above-average rainfall over the next two weeks across the country. Despite floods in the northeast and Bihar, the country has received below average rains in the past two weeks.

However, on Thursday a weather department official told Reuters that there would be above-average rainfall, which would help summer-sown crops that were wilting in some areas due to a dry spell. Monsoon rains are crucial for farm output and economic growth as about 55% of India’s arable land relies on rainfall and agriculture forms about 15% of a $2.5 trillion economy.

“In the next two weeks, we are likely to get above average rainfall, which will be well distributed across the country,” said A.K. Srivastava, head of the climate research division at India Meteorological Department.

India’s monsoon rains were 35% below average in the week ending July 24, after receiving 20% less rainfall in the prior week, raising concerns over the output of summer-sown crops.

Overall, India has received 17% less rain than average since the monsoon season began on June 1, but in some states such as Gujarat, the biggest producer of cotton and groundnut, the rainfall deficit is as high as 42%.

Monsoon toll rises across South Asia

Source: gulfnews.com

New Delhi: More than eight people were killed when a house collapsed in northern India following heavy monsoon rain which has left more than 85 dead across South Asia, officials said Monday.

Floods and landslides caused by torrential downpours have killed at least 67 people across Nepal while 30 more are missing, police said.

In overcrowded Rohingya refugee camps in southeast Bangladesh, 10 people have died and thousands of shanty homes have been destroyed since April.

In the latest monsoon-related tragedy, a four-storey building on a hillside in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh collapsed, killing 13 people.

The structure – located near popular tourist destination Shimla – came down on Sunday following days of heavy downpours.

Rescue workers searched the rubble for survivors, while heavy machinery removed heaps of mangled steel and wires from the muddied debris.

Earlier, local official K.C. Chaman said eight people had died in the collapse, adding that rescuers were looking “for at least seven other people” trapped in the debris.

One soldier – who was pulled out alive from the rubble – said they had gathered for a party in the building’s restaurant, “but suddenly the building shook and collapsed”.

Such incidents are common across the region during the monsoon because of dilapidated structures that buckle under the weight of continuous rain.

The June to September monsoon causes widespread death and destruction across South Asia each year.

Floods have devastated much of the northeastern Indian state of Assam where four people died on Sunday after being swept away by sudden torrents.

The state’s Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO-recognised reserve and home to two-thirds of the world’s one-horned rhinos, has also been seriously affected by the weather.

In the eastern state of Bihar, five rivers were flowing over the danger levels with more rain forecast over the next few days.

The downpours have eased in Nepal but authorities still fear the death toll could rise, said police spokesman Bishwaraj Pokharel, who gave the latest number of dead and missing from floods and landslides.

“There are the challenges of resettlement of the displaced as many houses.. have been swept away. We are also cautious about the risk of epidemics due to polluted water,” Pokharel told AFP.

MORE FLOODING RAINS TO LASH ARARIA, KISHANGANJ, BHAGALPUR, BEGUSARAI, SIWAN AND GAYA

Source: skymetweather.com

Moderate to heavy rains with one or two very heavy spells of Monsoon rains have been lashing the state of Bihar since the last two to three days. These rains have triggered some intense flooding in many districts of the state. The adjoining parts of Nepal too have been reeling under flooding rains for the last many days now. Also, these have resulted in swelling of many rivers.

Places right from Pashchim Champaran to Sitamarhi, including Araria, Kishanganj, Arwal, Aurangabad, Banka, Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Bhojpur, Buxar, Darbhanga, Gaya, Gopalganj, Jamui, Jehanabad, Kaimur (Bhabua), Katihar, Khagaria, and Siwan are experiencing flooding rains at present. Moreover, no relief is expected from such conditions for at least next two to three days. In fact, flooding may worsen in some areas due to continuous heavy downpour.

For the next 48 hours, we expect moderate to heavy with a few very heavy spells of rain and thundershower activities in many parts of Bihar. Thereafter, rains will slightly taper over the region. This is because, the present Trough will start shifting south, thus initiating good rains over the southern districts of Bihar. By this time, rains will reduce in other districts of the state, thus leading to a marginal relief from the flood-like situation.

Skymet has been continuously tracking the weather activities going on over and across the state and thus has been giving weather alerts on a constant basis in order to help the residents, escape this danger. And as more heavy rains are expected to lash the state, localitesare advised to take due precautions.

Weak monsoon accounts for 30% rain deficit

Source: dailypioneer.com

The rain fall statistics released by the Meteorological Centre Ranchi on July 11 States that Jharkhand is facing a rain deficit of 30 per cent. From June 1 to July 11, the State has received a total of 218.2 mm of rain against the ideal amount of rain which should have been 310 mm.

“During the last week monsoon has been in an active phase in the entire state. In June the rain deficit in Jharkhand was recorded at 55 per cent and as of on July 11 it has come to 30 per cent showing an improvement of 25 per cent. In the next two weeks, it is expected that there are chances of further improvement in the rainfall statistics in the State,” said Senior Scientist, MET Observatory Centre- Ranchi, Dr. RS Sharma.

In the next few days normal rainfall activity is expected over northern parts of Jharkhand. However, in central and south Jharkhand there are not many chances of monsoon showers in the coming dew days. Thereafter another system is likely to form and monsoon might again be active.

“The monsoon trough is shifting towards the foothills of the Himalayas. Therefore from July 12 to July 15, reduced rain fall activity is likely to occur over Jharkhand and not all the stations but few places will receive light to moderate rainfall. However, the northern districts in the state will continue to receive rain,” the scientist further added.

Overall in Jharkhand, out of the 24 districts only five districts have received normal rainfall so far-Dumka, East Singhbhum, Lohardaga, Palamu and Sahibganj. The maximum deficit level- 59 percent was recorded at Pakur which has only received 148.3 mm of rain against the normal 358.5 mm. The State capital has a rain deficit of 35 percent and has received 214.1 mm of rain while the normal amount should be 331 mm.

As per the weather bulletin released by the MET Observatory Centre-Ranchi, on July 11, for the next four days July 12 to July 15, it is going to be cloudy in Ranchi and its surrounding areas.

The maximum temperature will be between 32- 34 degree Celsius while the minimum temperature will be 24 degree Celsius.