Underlining “we should be very careful”, Madhavan Nair Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Thursday said Kerala and Karnataka have become “very susceptible” to cyclones because the Arabian Sea is warming up “much faster”.
Speaking at the Idea Exchange programme of The Indian Express, Rajeevan, explaining the decision to set up a cyclone warning centre in Thiruvananthapuram which is rarely affected by cyclones, said: “There are observations suggesting that the Indian Ocean is warming, especially the Arabian Sea side. In recent years, the Arabian Sea is warming much faster and there are more cyclones there. These changes have occurred in the past ten years or so. Kerala and Karnataka are very susceptible and we should be very careful.” Cyclone Ockhi had hit parts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Lakshadweep last year.
On the extreme weather events in India and the Kerala floods, Rajeevan said that dams and water reservoirs need flood management systems that use scientific methods to understand when the time is right to open the gates.
“As per my understanding, no big reservoir has a decision support system. So we don’t know when to open them, how to open them… I am not attributing the Kerala floods to an individual. There is a common perception that in India most of the flood management systems are not supported by science… I am very sure we don’t have the decision support system and we need it.”