Thiruvananthapuram: Heavy rains lashed Kerala, especially the south and central regions on Saturday, causing water-logging in several areas and leaving many rivers in spate, as the weathermen sounded ‘red alert’ predicting extremely heavy rainfall in five districts of the state. According to the latest update of the Indian Meteorological Department, the ‘Red Alert’ was sounded for Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, and Thrissur districts.
An orange alert, warning of very heavy rainfall was issued for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad districts. “Under the influence of the Low pressure area over Southeast Arabian Sea off Kerala coast, Kerala is expected to receive isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy falls till the morning of October 17. Isolated heavy rainfall is expected on 18th and further reduction in rainfall from 19th morning,” an IMD statement said here.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the India Meteorological Department has warned of widespread heavy rains in the state due to the Low Pressure area formed over the Arabian Sea. Appealing to the people of the state to keep extra vigil in the next 24 hour, he said in a Facebook post that the rains already hit the south and central districts and it would intensify in the northern districts also by the evening as per the weather forecast.
The water level in some rivers is expected to rise and shutters of certain dams are likely to be opened, he said, adding that those living in its catchment areas should be ready to follow the instructions of authorities. Meanwhile, two children had a miraculous escape after a portion of the wall of their house collapsed in incessant rains on Friday night at Chempakamangalam in the capital district where rains have been battering the city and rural areas alike since last night.
The wall collapsed on the bed, where the children were asleep, but they escaped with minor injuries, family sources said. District Collector Navjot Khosa advised people to avoid visiting tourist places and going near rivers and other water bodies in view of heavy rains in Thiruvananthapuram. Four shutters of Neyyar Dam here were raised by a total of 240 cm in view of the rising water level, the authorities said adding that the shutters of Aruvikkara Dam would be raised to 350 cm from the present 310 cm in the afternoon.
Destruction of roads was reported in many places including in Kollam and Kottayam districts while severe waterlogging made life miserable in Kuttanad region, popularly known as the ‘rice bowl’ of the state spread in Alappuzha and Kottayam districts. Intermittent downpour lashed high range areas in Kottayam and the hill district Idukki.The Thrissur district administration urged people living in low-lying and other disaster prone areas and on the banks of rivers to move to safer places as per the instructions received from the authorities.
Fishing boats are prohibited from venturing into the sea, they added.
Revenue Minister K Rajan called a meeting of district collectors via online this afternoon to coordinate with the disaster management programmes and take stock of the damage caused by the rains across the state. Health Minister Veena George convened a virtual meeting of MLAs at the collectorate in Pathanamthitta, the district which had witnessed widespread destruction during the massive floods in 2018. The water level is rising steadily in many rivers including Meenachal and Manimala.