Urul Pottal in Malayalam is more than a landslide and maybe translated as ‘debris avalanche’.
This used to be an isolated danger during monsoon in the hilly areas. The totally destructive phenomenon would see sudden burst of water and rocks gushing forward dangerously, taking everything on it’s way. And since it is water, it finds a river on the way, raising water levels swiftly and significantly and dangerously higher.
Sometimes the power of the flow is such that big rivers are made to change its course, consuming everything on the way.
The speed at which the accumulated water (rain water) trapped under the earth and getting pressured within the underground rocks, bursting out is like a volcanic eruption.
Yesterday, many parts of Kerala witnessed an unusually large number of urul pottal resulting in floods and damages to property.
Experience from last year’s terrible floods, and the resultant precautions helped reduce the loss of lives.
There’s no effective method to predict a urul pottal and destruction can strike quite unexpectedly.
While the rain from the sky is mostly welcome, this outburst of water from under the earth! Please go away!