Tuesday, August 30, 2011

'Red rain' in Kerala, India again? - 30th Aug 2011

When residents of some places in this Kerala district woke up Tuesday morning, they were surprised to see red coloured rain water collected in their vessels lying outside.

"We normally collect rain water to wash our vessels and clothes because water in our place is a rare commodity. We leave our vessels in the open at night.

"When we checked today (Tuesday) morning, the vessels contained red water," said Anitha, a housewife near Pathanamthitta town.

Similar reports of 'red rain' water collected in vessels have been reported in a few places near Konni and Ranni.

Centre for Earth Science Studies director N.P. Kurian said it has not come to his notice because he was travelling. "I will ask my officials to see about the news and do the needful."

The state has witnessed similar incidents in the past. In September 2001, 'red rain' sporadically came down near Changnacherry in Kottayam district.

It was initially suspected that the rains were coloured owing to a fallout from a hypothetical meteor burst, but the Indian government commissioned a study which found it was due to airborne spores from a locally prolific terrestrial alga.

In early 2006, the coloured rains of Kerala suddenly rose to worldwide attention after media reports of a conjecture that the coloured particles were extraterrestrial cells as proposed by Godfrey Louis and Santhosh Kumar of the Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam. Source