Heavy rains in Kerala: Govt assures evacuation of people from danger-prone areas


A view of Ernakulam KSRTC bus stand following heavy rains. Photo: TK Pradeep Kumar/Mathrubhumi News

Thiruvananthapuram: As heavy rains continue to lash across Kerala days ahead of the expected onset of Southwest monsoon, revenue minister K Rajan asked the public to exercise extreme caution as examining chances of rain related accidents. Addressing the media here on Sunday, the minister said, directions have been issued to district collectors to deal with any emergencies.

"We held a meeting on Saturday, chaired by the Chief secretary. Directions have been issued to all district collectors and other concerned authorities. As of now, the rivers are not overflowing. We have issued special directions to hilly districts and hazard analysts have been asked to closely monitor the situation," Rajan said.

He said all departments concerned have been alerted and people from danger-prone areas will be evacuated without delay if necessary.

"As of now there is no need for opening relief camps across the state. But we need to be careful as there are chances of landslides if the rain continues," added the minister.

Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday issued a red alert in five districts of the state for Sunday and Monday indicating extremely heavy rainfall.

IMD issued red alert in Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Malappuram and Kozhikode districts for Sunday.

Red alert has been issued in Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur districts for Monday.

A red alert indicates heavy to extremely heavy rains of over 20 cm in 24 hours, while orange alert means very heavy rains from 6 cm to 20 cm of rains. A yellow alert means heavy rainfall between 6 to 11 cm.

The weatherman had issued a red alert in Ernakulam and Idukki on Saturday.

Most parts of Ernakulam city was inundated on Sunday due to heavy rainfall which lasted the whole night. Two camps have been opened in Ernakulam city to house families affected by waterlogging.

A total of nine families from various places have been housed in two camps.

As the heavy downpour alert was issued, the government on Saturday evening called a high-level meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary to assess and take steps for mitigation measures.

With the red alert being issued in more districts today, the state government and the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) have asked people to stay away from rivers and other water bodies.

The SDMA have also asked people not to travel to hilly regions unless it's an emergency and to avoid night travel until the rain subdues.

The IMD has earlier predicted that the Southwest monsoon, which is 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.

Since it was raining in the southern part of the state for the past few days, the district administrations have issued warnings to people staying in low lying areas, on the banks of the rivers and hilly regions to remain vigilant.

Kodungallur in Thrissur district received 20 cm of rain on Saturday, as per the IMD website which is the highest rainfall in Kerala in the last 24 hours. Aluva in Ernakulam district received 19 cm of rain while CIAL Kochi in Ernakulam, Irinjalakuda in Thrissur district and Kottarakkara in Kollam district received 17 cm rain each.

(PTI)

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