New Delhi: On Thursday,The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued an ‘orange’ alert for 12 Kerala districts – Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Idukki, Kottayam, Alappuzha, and Pathanamthitta.
The IMD issued an orange alert in all the districts of Kerala except for Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam for Thursday.
The weather department also predicted ‘heavy to very heavy rainfall’ for the southern state over the next 48 hours before a ‘substantial reduction in rainfall intensity’ from May 21.
The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority said cyclonic circulation over northern Tamil Nadu and adjoining areas would lead to isolated very heavy rainfall in several parts of the state.
On Wednesday, the Central Meteorological Department predicted isolated heavy and extremely heavy downpour in the state for the next two days and light/moderate rainfall for the next two consecutive days.
— ANI (@ANI) May 19, 2022
The IMD has earlier predicted the southwest monsoon – also known as ‘edavapathy’ in the state – is likely to bring its first showers to Kerala by May 27, five days earlier than the normal onset date.
Water level in dams rising
Several dams are filling up due to intense rainfall across Kerala. The Peringakuthu and Bhoothanthankettu dams opened their shutters minimally to keep the storage limit within the safety threshold.
Other barriers are likely to lift their shutters incrementally to let water out. The government is closely monitoring water levels downstream as reservoirs shed excess storage. A control room at the government secretariat is taking stock of the situation hourly.
Reports of rain-related accidents are also trickling in from across Kerala.
At least two persons, including an infant, were killed when their car plummetted into a steep gully en route to Munnar. The police said the victims were natives of Andhra Pradesh and could be leisure travellers. They suspect the inclement weather caused the mishap.
The government has declared hill resorts, beaches, waterfalls, and forested tourist spots off-limits to holidayers and tourists
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has issued directions to ensure authorities are prepared to handle natural disasters that are likely to follow, including landslides and flooding.
Local bodies have been directed to prepare a list of disaster-prone areas in their respective jurisdictions and alert concerned government departments.
The chief minister also directed establishment of relief camps for evacuated people. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed five teams to Kerala.
The state authority (SDMA) has asked people to stay away from water bodies, not to travel to hilly regions and avoid travel at night. District administrations have also warned people living near coastal regions of high tides.