Washington: Using satellite data, NASA has created a video that provides an estimate of the intense rainfall over India in the past week and shows the spread of the flooding in Kerala and parts of Karnataka, said a leading portal on Wednesday. Kerala is facing its worst floods in nearly a century that has left at least 231 people dead and 3.14 lakh people homeless. It has even been declared a calamity of ‘severe nature’. In a statement, NASA said that rainfall accumulations from August 13 to 20 showed two bands of heavy rain across India. (Also read: India Not Accepting Foreign Funds, Says Thailand Ambassador)

The first band was broader and extends across the northern part of the peninsula with weekly rainfall ranging from over 5 inches towards the western half of the peninsula to as much as 14 inches over parts of the eastern half towards the Bay of Bengal. The second band was thicker and was aligned with the southwest coast of India and the Western Ghats. Weekly rainfall in this band is generally over 10 inches with embedded areas exceeding 16 inches. The maximum estimated value from the data in this band was 18.5 inches, NASA said.

A contributing factor to the heavy rains along the southwest coast of India is the Western Ghats, the statement said. Though smaller than the Himalayas, this mountain range runs parallel to the West Coast of India with many peaks over 2,000 metres. As a result, the Western Ghats are well positioned to enhance rainfall along the West Coast of the country.

The Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) is used to estimate precipitation from a combination of passive microwave sensors, including microwave sensor and infrared data.