Kerala braces for Cyclone Burevi, expected to hit TVM tomorrow

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Fishermen shift their boats and other belongings ahead of Cyclone Buveri, in Kanyakumari | Photo:PTI

Thiruvananthapuram: Authorities in Kerala on Wednesday opened over 2,000 relief camps and banned fishing along the coast for the next three days as the state gears up to deal with cyclonic storm Burevi, which is expected to make landfall in the capital city by December 4.

A deep depression formed over the southwest Bay of Bengal has intensified into cyclonic storm Burevi. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), it is likely to bring heavy rains and winds to the seven southern districts of Kerala from December 3 to 5.

Authorities in Kerala were on their toes on Wednesday as they opened 2,849 relief camps to accommodate people who will be evacuated from vulnerable areas, according to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Eight teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have already reached the state, he said.

Pinarayi Vijayan also spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who assured him of all possible help from the Centre.

Burevi to reach TVM by Friday

"Experts have opined that Cyclone Burevi will reach Thiruvananthapuram by Friday. We have discussed matters related to the cyclone with Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Chief Minister told reporters.

"We have explained the steps taken by the state government," he added.

In a weather bulletin, the IMD said Burevi, over southwest Bay of Bengal, moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 25 kmph during past six hours and lay centred, as at 11.30 a.m., about 140 km east of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka), 370 km east-southeast of Pamban (India) and 550 km nearly east-northeast of Kanniyakumari (India).

Kerala govt prepares to face the cyclone

"Districts like Thiruvananthapuruam, Kollam, Pathanamthittta, Kottayam, Alappuzha Ernakulam and Idukki districts could have the impact of very heavy rains besides heavy winds also. People should not venture out at all. The seas also would turn very rough. Winds with speed ranging from 30 kms to 60 kms are also expected," said Chief Minister.

Pinarayi Vijayan said that eight teams of the National Disaster Rescue Force have already arrived, besides the Air Force base at Sulu, near Kovai is already on high alert, while the Indian Navy also is ready.

"In case of a need, we have identified 2,849 relief camps and by now 13 are already functional. If the situation warrants, depending on the weather updates, people will be evacuated. All the district authorities have been told to take appropriate action depending on the needs and none need to wait for clearance. The ongoing Sabarimala pilgrimage will be regulated, if a situation arises," he said.

Pinarayi Vijayan asked people not to worry and said the government has made all arrangements to face the situation.

He said 690 members of 175 families have already been shifted to 13 relief camps.

Restrictions imposed on Sabarimala Pilgrimage

The Chief Minister said since heavy rain has been predicted in Pathanamthitta district, restrictions may be imposed on the Sabarimala pilgrimage, based on the weather conditions.

Pinarayi Vijayan asked the people of the state to cooperate with the health department which is already burdened with COVID-19 mitigation work.

Fishing banned till Dec 5

The State Disaster Management Authority banned fishing along the Kerala coast till December 5.

The state government also asked people to avoid travel to high range areas in view of the heavy rain forecast.

Red alert in 4 districts

The IMD has issued a red alert (over 20 cms of rain in 24 hours) for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts and orange alert (6 cm to 20 cm rain) for Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki districts on December 3.

The weather department has forecast rain and snowfall in the high hills of Himachal Pradesh on December 4, 7 and 8.

PM speaks with Tamil Nadu, Kerala CMs, assures all support from Centre

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu and Kerala on Wednesday and discussed the situation prevailing in parts of the states due to cyclone Burevi while pledging all possible support from the Centre.

The cyclone is likely to hit Tamil Nadu on December 4, the Cyclone Warning Division of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Tuesday. The IMD has issued a red alert for south Tamil Nadu and south Kerala for December 3.

Tweeting about his telephonic conversation with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami, Modi said, "We discussed the conditions prevailing in parts of the state due to Cyclone Burevi. Centre will provide all possible support to TN. I pray for the well-being and safety of those living in the areas affected."

On his talks with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, he said he spoke on the conditions prevailing due to cyclonic storm Burevi in the state and assured all possible support from the Centre to help Kerala.

"Praying for the safety and well-being of those staying in the affected areas," Modi said.

Dry weather prevails in north India

The weather in the state was dry on Wednesday and it will remain so in plains, low and mid-hills till Tuesday, Shimla Meteorological Centre Director Manmohan Singh said.

Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district was the coldest place in the state at minus 4 degrees Celsius, Kalpa in Kinnaur district recorded a low of 1.4 degrees Celsius, he said.

The mercury settled at a low of 3 degrees Celsius, 9.4 degrees Celsius and 9.9 degrees Celsius in Manali, Kufri and Dalhousie, respectively. Shimla recorded a minimum temperature of 11.4 degrees Celsius.

Dry weather also prevailed over Uttar Pradesh, according to the Meteorological Department in Lucknow.

Shallow to moderate fog occurred at isolated places, the weather department said.

Basti recorded the highest maximum temperature in the state at 29 degrees Celsius, while Churk was the coldest at 6.6 degrees Celsius.

The weatherman has forecast dry weather and shallow to moderate fog at isolated places on Thursday.

(With added inputs from PTI/IANS)

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