What is the impact of Southwest Monsoon in India and Southeast Asia?

May 23, 2015 12:02 PM |

Monsoon and AgricultureSouthwest Monsoon brings humid climate and torrential rainfall to India and Southeast Asia. The warm and moist air from the southwest Indian Ocean blows towards countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar. A weak current also reaches Pakistan, bringing minimal rain over the country during the Monsoon season.

What is the impact on Agriculture?

Large parts of these countries do not have proper irrigation systems like surrounding lakes, rivers or snowmelt areas. Thus, agriculture largely depends on Monsoon rains, filling wells and aquifers for the rest of the year.

Kharif crops in India require monsoonal rains for their growth. Cotton, Maize, Paddy, Soybean, Groundnut, Bajra and Sesame are among the major crops that rely on Monsoon rains. Dairy farms in India also depend on Southwest Monsoon to keep cows healthy and well-fed.

What is the impact on Industry?

Industry in Southeast Asia and India relies on Monsoon rains as a great deal of electricity here is produced by hydroelectric power plants, driven by water that is collected during the monsoons. Electricity is supplied to various sectors and business houses, helping economies of these areas to develop.

Economy of these countries suffers when Monsoon is late or weak. Governments are forced to import food as large agribusinesses have less produce to sell and electricity becomes more expensive.

What is the negative impact of Southwest Monsoon?

Very heavy showers can cause great damage. In urban areas like Mumbai, flooding is a common phenomenon. In rural areas, mudslides caused by excessive rain can bury villages and destroy crops.

In the year 2005, a strong Monsoon devastated western part of India. Southwest Monsoon first hit the state of Gujarat, claiming more than 100 lives. The monsoon rains also hit the state of Maharashtra, where flooding killed more than 1,000 people. On July 26, 2005, Mumbai received 39.1 inches or 993.14 mm of rain. However, both the states received rain from two different monsoon systems.

East and Northeast India is blessed with huge rivers but in the absence of proper network of rivers, heavy showers invariably lead to bouts of flooding and inundation.

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Image credit - phys.org


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