The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has released a couple of satellite images showing the starkly contrasting landscapes of Kerala before and after the disastrous floods, which claimed hundreds of lives.
The images, showing the most-affected regions of Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts and the neighbouring Kottayam, show an alarming level of inundation.
The first image taken by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 satellite on February 6 shows the area surrounding the Vembanad Lake before the deluge hit Kerala.
The second image taken by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2 satellite on August 22 is a far cry from the first.
Large swathes of land that were marked in green in the first picture turn a deep blue in the second photo, highlighting the level of inundation.
Clouds opened to misery
It was after almost 100 years that Kerala faced such a severe flood and over 30 dams across the state were opened due to the perilous precipitation.
Last week, the NASA had released a video that showed the severity of the rainfall that submerged the state after rivers breached banks and dams swelled up.
Several hundreds died and nearly 10 lakh people were shifted to relief camps. Even now, after more than a week since the rain subsided, several lakh people are still stuck in camps as their homes were washed away.
The NASA had pointed that the Western Ghats was one of contributing factors to the heavy rain along the southwest coast of India.
The Western Ghats are positioned in a such a way that will enhance rainfall along the west coast of India as they intercept the moisture-laden air being drawn in off the warm waters of the northern Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea as part of the southwest monsoon circulation.