Thiruvananthapuram: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued heavy rainfall warning for six districts in Kerala for Sunday. The state’s machinery, including police force has been put on high alert amid the weather forecast. The state government has requested the people to exercise caution, and suggested that people should avoid unnecessary travel to the hilly areas.
An orange alert, signifying heavy to very heavy rains between 115.6mm to 204.4mm, has been issued for Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Idukki. Thiruvananthapuram will fall under orange alert in addition to the six other districts on Tuesday. The weatherman has also issued a yellow alert for Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad districts on these days. The Idukki district collector said in view of the red and orange alert in the hilly district, a ban on trekking has been imposed but tourists can visit the places.
Since it was raining in the southern part of the state for the past few days, the district administrations have issued warning to people staying in low lying areas, on the banks of the rivers and hilly regions to remain vigilant. Steps will be taken to ensure safety of Sabarimala pilgrims. Pilgrims has been advised to avoid travelling at night and from entering water bodies. At the same time, the state control rooms can be contacted on toll-free number 1077.
Thunderstorm with moderate rainfall and gusty winds speed reaching 40 Kmph is likely at some places in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Idukki, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Malappuram, and Kozhikode districts of Kerala, IMD said. The IMD has earlier predicted that the Southwest monsoon, which is also known as Edavapathi in the state, is likely to bring the first showers to Kerala by May 27, five days earlier than the normal onset date.
In the wake of this, Kerala Chief Secretary VP Joy had called an emergency meeting of all the concerned departments to take stock of the state’s disaster management preparedness and issued directions to open relief camps if necessary. In the meeting, he directed the district collectors to set up an alarm system to alert the people in case of any emergency. Reportedly, a control room has already been set up in the state to deal with the emergencies. The meeting also directed the collectors to shift the people from the areas prone to flooding.
State police chief Anil Kant has told the district heads of the force to be on high alert considering the rain situation in the state. ADGP K Padmakumar has been designated as the nodal officer for the deployment of personnel while ADGP Vijay Sakhare will be in charge of the disaster management efforts. DGP Kant has asked for special attention in coastal areas and regions prone to landslides. Coastal police stations have been directed to keep on standby safety boats and other facilities. The Police Telecommunications SP is tasked with ensuring uninterrupted connectivity during rescue efforts when needed.