Sunday, September 16, 2018

Kilometers-long Earth cracks dry up rivers, wells, and deplete groundwater reserves in Kerala, India

A total of 491 people were killed in monsoon rains in Kerala since May 29. But, now the flood-hit state has to face a new problem. Giant earth cracks are drying up rivers and wells. Geologists were sent to investigate the strange post-flood phenomenon.
A series of issues including soaring mercury level, unprecedented dip in water level of rivers, sudden drying-up of wells, depletion of groundwater reserves and mass perishing of earthworms have caused widespread concern in various parts of Kerala after the devastating deluge last month.
The flood-battered Wayanand district, known for its rich biodiversity, recently experienced an unprecedented mass die-off of earthworms, causing concern among farmers who attributed it to the rapid drying up of earth and change in soil structure.
Many rivers including Periyar, Bharathapuzha, Pampa and Kabani, which were overflowing during the deadly rains, are now drying up and their water level has decreased abnormally. Besides, wells are also drying up and groundwater reserves diminish at an alarmign rate in many districts.
The dramatic monsoon floods have altered the topography of the land in many places, probably causing kilometres-long cracks especially in high range areas of Idukki and Wayanad.
After floods, drought conditions have been predicted by experts in many districts of the southern state.
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