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Kerala Agricultural University prepares flood map for Chalakudy river basin

Considering the devastating effect of the 2018 floods, the Kerala Agricultural University has prepared a comprehensive Flood Map for the Chalakudy river basin.

The flood maps were prepared by the Academy of Climate Change Education and Research (ACCER) unit of the KAU under a project funded by the Kerala State Biodiversity Board.

Also read: Monsoon hits Kerala with cyclone in the background

“The KAU used Synthetic-Aperture Radar (SAR) based satellite data of the ISRO-NRSC of Government of India. The ISRO in turn used the satellite such as Sentinel-1 SAR, Radarsat-2 SAR, Radarsat-2, ALOS-2, PALSAR-2, TERRASAR-X etc. The satellite imageries, between August 9 and August 28, 2018, were used for the analysis. These satellite imageries were then analyzed using the GIS tools and the flood maps were prepared,” said KAU Vice Chancellor Dr. R. Chandrababu.  

Separate flood maps were prepared for all the 28 Grama Panchayats, spread across six Block Panchayats within the Chalakudy river basin. Flood maps were also prepared for the two Municipalities such as Chalakudy and Kodungalloor municipalities within the Chalakudy river basin.

The worst flood affected Block Panchayats were Mala, Vellangalloor and Parakkadavu. Out of these Poomangalam Grama Panchayat in Vellangalloor Block and Kuzhoor Grama Panchayat of Mala Block were mostly affected ones, to the tune of 42.49% and 41.83% respectively.

The loss and fragmentation of the natural drains including the wetlands habitat could be one of the major reasons for the flood 2018, said special officer of the ACCER Dr. P.O. Nameer.

“The study shows the floods situation was severe in wetland areas. Wetlands have the capacity to contain flood waters by temporarily store it during high runoffs. We lost a huge part of wetlands due to improper maintenance and encroachments,” said Dr. Nameer.

A detailed study would be undertaken at these badly flood-affected regions by a team of scientists of the Kerala Agricultural University and would provide appropriate mitigation and restoration measures to reduce the impact of a future flood.

The flood map, which was submitted to the Local Self Government, has been handed over to the Collector. The Collector will give them to the respective panchayats for taking appropriate steps.   

The KAU is also planning to prepare the flood maps of other major rivers in the State such as the Chaliyar, Bharatapuzha, Periyar, Pamba and AchaNnkoil in the near future, said the VC.

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