After the deluge, Kerala’s next crisis: Dying earthworms

KOZHIKODE: Farmer Sanmathy Raj used to be walking to his field final week when he stopped brief. Dead earthworms coated the bottom. “I couldn’t walk without stepping on them,” he mentioned. It’s commonplace for earthworms to creep out of the soil after rains, however Kolavayal, Raj’s village in Kerala’s Wayanad district, has been dry since flood waters receded.

Baffling as the scene used to be, mass earthworm deaths have additionally been reported from different parts of Wayanad and Idukki districts. Scientists and the state executive are apprehensive, as earthworms take care of soil fertility, and their decimation so soon after the floods may just mean another crisis.

The final time earthworms died in such large numbers in Wayanad used to be in the summertime of 2016, and experts say high soil temperatures could be the purpose. After the rains abated in the region, daylight hours temperatures have risen from 22 levels Celsius on August 21, to 29.4 levels on Thursday.

“Indian earthworms in most cases have a tolerance of 15-28 levels,” mentioned N Anil Kumar, senior director on the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation. He mentioned earthworm deaths may just harm agriculture.

Kerala deluge






Changes in soil conditions after flooding could also be accountable. A tonne of soil accommodates about five kg of organic topic and retains 50 litres of water, Wayanad soil conservation officer P U Das mentioned. “But floods flushed out organic topic from the soil, reducing its water maintaining capacity.” Drier soil heats up extra, forcing earthworms out.

The sorts of earthworms present in Wayanad and Idukki and the explanations for his or her deaths are different, mentioned S Prasanth Narayanan on the Mahatma Gandhi University.

He mentioned initial reports point out the earthworms in Wayanad are an exotic species that could have perished as a result of the sudden exchange in night time temperature and serious soil dryness. In Idukki, deaths appear to have been caused via the prelandslide vibrations.


June used to be a excellent month: monsoon hit Kerala on time and lots of the country, barring 4 states, got respectable rain. By mid-June, rainfall used to be in truth 20% in excess. Things got choppy after that – heavy rain in parts, deficit in others. So, via August 8, there used to be a 10% deficit. This shriveled to six% via end of the month, however via September 11, deficit used to be as much as 8%.

All this, coupled with how it has rained in the earlier years, led to a few reservoirs operating dry while some are overflowing. Gujarat has been a number of the worst hit, with reservoirs linked to river Sabarmati 74% drier than final year.

It’s exactly the other down south. There, the reservoirs are overflowing. Tamil Nadu’s reservoirs now have 67% extra water than in 2017.

After the deluge, Kerala’s next crisis: Dying earthworms After the deluge, Kerala’s next crisis: Dying earthworms Reviewed by kailash soni on September 16, 2018 Rating: 5
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