'Wettest place in June' race between two towns

Sohra (Meghalaya): Two nearby tiny hilltop townships in Meghalaya's East Khasi Hills district are vying for the "wettest place on the planet" title as both received over 4300 mm of rainfall in June, officials said today.

"Sohra, previously known as Cherrapunjee, has received 4355.5 mm last month. This is the first time in 20 years that the place got so much rainfall," head of the meteorology office Vijay Kumar Singh told PTI. The last time it rained so much was in 1995 when the rainfall was recorded at 4710.9 mm, he said.

There was not a single day without any rainfall for the entire month of June except for a day when only traces of rainfall was detected, Singh said.

It's the same case too for Mawsynram, located about 10 km west from here and as per records maintained by the Guwahati-based Regional Meteorological Centre of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Mawsynram has the edge over Sohra for June.

The cumulative rainfall for June collected from Mawsynram is 4781.2 mm, IMD officials at Guwahati said. So, Mawsynram should have won the 'wettest place' title but the problem is the data of Mawsynram is 'debatable'. There is no full-fledged office in Mawsynram, data is collected there for IMD by an "untrained and inexperienced" employee of Meghalaya government, the officials said.

The towns are separated by hills and, the IMD officials believe, there could be other villages in between that could have received more rainfall.

Lack of instruments to collect data from every village in between them allowed Sohra and Mawsynram to be taken as the rivals officially, in terms of wetness, they said.

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