Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

Munroe Thuruthu: Kerala’s Sinking Island


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Munroe Island

Mains level: Not Much


A study conducted by the National Centre for Earth Science Studies (NCESS) has revealed anthropogenic interventions as the main reason for the sinking of Munroe Thuruthu Kerala’s, Kerala’s Sinking Island.

Note: This Island has nothing to do with Thomas Monroe, the erstwhile Governor of Madras Presidency (1820-27).

Munroe Thuruthu

  • Munroe Thuruthu is an inland island group located at the confluence of Ashtamudi Lake and the Kallada River, in Kollam district of Kerala.
  • The place is named in honour of Resident Colonel John Munro of the former Princely State of Travancore.
  • It is a group of eight small islets comprising a total area of about 13.4 km2.
  • This island is also known as “Sinking Island of Kerala”.

How was this island inhabited?

  • In 1795 the British established their supremacy in South India and the princely state of Travancore came under their governance.
  • From 1800 onwards, a Resident was appointed by East India Company as administrative head of Travancore.
  • The first Resident was Colonel Colin Macaulay, followed by Colonel John Munro.
  • During his tenure Munro oversaw the land reclamation efforts in the delta where Kallada River joins Ashtamudi Lake and the reclaimed island was named after him as Munroe Island.

Why in news?

  • The islanders are facing steady land subsidence, tidal flooding and lower agricultural productivity, all of which have triggered a mass exodus from the region.
  • According to the study, almost 39% of the land area of the Munroe Thuruthu has been lost with Peringalam and Cheriyakadavu islands recording a land depletion of around 12% and 47% respectively.
  • The study finds that anthropogenic activities have considerably affected the isostatic conditions and land neutrality of Munroe Thuruthu.


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