The Telegraph
Saturday , September 10 , 2011
Since 1st March, 1999
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Monster of a monsoon
- Ravenous rivers spur flash flood alert

The rain god has become generous to a fault.

Propelled by a low-pressure trough hovering over Jharkhand and Gangetic Bengal, incessant downpour in the past 24 hours has inundated various parts of the state and turned rivers ravenous in East Singhbhum.

While the Kharkai has already mocked the danger mark, Subernarekha is threatening to cross it soon, prompting the district administration to issue a flash flood alert.

A 48-hour shower warning has also been sounded.

On Friday, the rain-o-meter at Sonari aerodrome in Jamshedpur read 103mm while adjoining Ghatshila experienced a bounty of 138.8mm in 24 hours. Seraikela, Kharsawan and Chaibasa witnessed around 80mm rainfall as capital Ranchi soaked in 51mm and Koderma saw 60mm. Palamau and Daltonganj recorded humbler figures of 15mm and 13mm, respectively.

Weatherman said the low-pressure area over Jharkhand was strengthened by the active monsoon trough, resulting in heavy rain that continued throughout the night in Ranchi and Jamshedpur.

“The monsoon trough is passing through the Singhbhum region,” pointed out Animesh Chanda, the director of the Patna Meteorological Office, explaining why the steel city and its adjoining areas had remained drenched.

Chanda warned of heavy rainfall for the next 48 hours. “The low-pressure trough has become stagnant, which will result in heavy downpour. The intensity is expected to reduce after 48 hours as weather chart analysis suggests that the trough will either shift or weaken,” he said.

Subernarekha Multipurpose Project chief engineer Umesh Kumar said at 3pm, the water level of Subernarekha was 120.86m while the danger mark is 121.50m. The Kharkai is already flowing at 130.90m, which is 1.90m above the danger mark.

The threat of flash floods loomed large as water was released from Bankabal dam in Orissa this afternoon.

“Incessant rain in Rairangpur and its adjoining areas in the past 24 hours has forced us to open one radial gate of Bankabal. The water level has touched the full reservoir level of 305m. So, we opened one radial gate to maintain the safety level of the dam,” said Vijay Kumar, Mitra, the executive engineer of Mayurbhanj irrigation division in Orissa.

Mitra said the radial gate of Kharkai dam too would be opened later in the evening as the water level had reached 313.4m. The full reservoir level is 313.5m.

East Singhbhum sounded an inundation alert in its low-lying areas. Public address systems were used in Kadma, Sonari, Mango and Bagbera.

Water has already started flowing into Bagbera, where 30 families had to be shifted to a primary school.

According to data from the Patna Met office, the state has so far recorded 964.2mm rainfall against an average normal of 932.3mm.

District-wise figures are equally impressive. Ranchi has recorded 1,310.5mm against an average of 950mm, a surplus of about 40 per cent. Jamshedpur has witnessed 1,364mm against a normal of 990mm, a 30 per cent bounty.

The surplus in Dhanbad is pegged at 12 per cent. Against an average normal of 900 mm, the local observatory in the coal capital has so far recorded 1,004mm.

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