Heavy rains in southern India threaten to cause another devastating drought

Video from southern India shows the Mettur dam completely overflowing on Tuesday, increasing fears that another devastating drought could follow last year’s devastating floods.

A severe drought had previously come to an end in many parts of Kerala after Cyclone Ockhi devastated the region, and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been attempting to build up supply by siphoning water from rivers across the state. But with water spilling into rivers in several parts of the state, NDRF deputy chief Shankar and state officials now fear a repeat of the 2016 floods that killed hundreds and displaced thousands.

Mettur dams can hold 880 million cubic feet of water and water levels in the two dams that feed the southern city of Kochi hit the 940 million cubic foot mark early on Tuesday. Officials are monitoring the situation closely and are likely to unleash sufficient water to continue the operation to stabilize the dams for another four days.

Food vendors sell thin ice that is left over from the June rains at Thalaivi market in Kochi, India, on Nov. 6, 2018. (Aijaz Rahi/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Between February and July, Kerala received only 4.5 percent of its normal annual rainfall. As rain continues to fall in Kerala, a number of towns have been inundated, destroying roads and bridges and damaging crops.

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