The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had not predicted ‘extremely heavy rainfall’ for August, the Kerala government on Friday said and rejected the charges by the Congress and the BJP that water released from dams caused the massive floods in the state.
The extremely heavy rainfall that the state received between August 9 and 15 was the reason for the floods, Water Resources Minister Mathew T Thomas and Power Minister M M Mani said in a joint press conference in Thiruvananthapuram.
“However, the government is not blaming the IMD... maybe they also did not expect heavy rains during the period,” Thomas said in reply to the Opposition charge that the state had failed to take precautions considering India Meteorological Department’s severe weather warning to the state.
The Union government had on September 3 refuted Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s statement in the assembly on August 30 that there were lapses in the IMD weather forecast.
Alleging that the Opposition was trying to tarnish the LDF government’s image by using the calamity as a tool, the ministers rejected the Congress-led UDF Opposition demand for a judicial probe into the circumstances that led to opening of shutters of dams. The demand was politically motivated, Mani said.
Mani said over 2,000 land slips and 300 landslides occurred at various places in Idukki district where he belonged, and “natural calamities are bound to take place.”
The massive floods in Kerala since the onset of the Southwest monsoon on May 29had left over 491 people dead and caused untold loss across the state.
(With PTI inputs)