United Nations: South India could sustain to experience highest than normal rainfall and this could reason further flooding due to El Nino, a phenomena which sparks global weather extremes.
The ongoing El Nino weather pattern in the Asia and Pacific is likely to be one of the stronger since 1998 and will sustain into early 2016, according to the advisory, which asks regional cooperation for early warning, in-season quenching and long-term adaptation strategies to curb climate risk.
The effect of the 2015-2016 El Nino can be even much severe in certain locations, such as the uplands of Cambodia, central and southern India, eastern Indonesia, the central and southern Philippines, central and northeast Thailand,” said the Third Advisory Note on El Nino issued jointly by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES).
While many southeast Asian countries, particularly India and Sri Lanka, hope to face severe flooding caused by heavy rainfalls, some Pacific islands – Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu, among others – have been experiencing a serious drought, causing water shortage and food insecurity.
Sri Lanka and southern India could continue to experience highest than normal rainfall and this could reason further flooding, particularly urban flooding, in certain locations.
Chennai was hit specially hard, with numerous deaths recorded due to severe flooding.
Up to 21.7 inches of rain was recorded, which drenched Tamil Nadu and over 7.9 inches fell in large areas of south India and northern Sri Lanka.
Record-setting rainfall since November 2015 has originate severe floods resulting in the death of a large number of people, the report said.
While there is no detailed scientific investigation into whether there is a direct link between the 2015-2016 El Nino and Chennai city flooding yet, the consensus that strong El Nino conditions has led to abnormal rainfall during the northeast monsoon season in South Asia indicates that El Nino had a part to play in the sequence of extreme weather events in India.
The advisory said that highest than normal rainfall is likely to continue over the southern India and South Asia, including the Maldives and Sri Lanka, during the winter period of December 2015 to February 2016.
Noting that the current UN climate change conference in Paris has debate and addressed the impacts brought by El Nino, and that actions are being taken in some countries, the publication provided key guidance in this regard.
Early warning and monitoring, pre or in-season mitigation, adaptation and response, as well as long-term risk management should be think to tackle some shared vulnerabilities and risks.
Only by coming together in the spirit of cooperation can the Asia-Pacific region hope to become truly disaster resilient and make sustainable growth in the future.