Heavy rains expected to lash Kerala this week, red alert issued for Idukki, Kannur
As heavy rains lashed Kerala on Monday leading to the death of a girl, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan advised people to be vigilant and avoid venturing close to rivers, travel to hilly areas and trips to the beach.
The chief minister’s advisory came in view of the red alerts issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in two districts — Idukki and Kannur — of the state for Tuesday. Besides, the IMD also issued orange alert for 10 of the remaining 12 districts in the state on that day. Orange alert was issued for all districts except Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam for Wednesday as well.
As heavy rains lashed several parts of the state, a Class 6 student died on Monday after a tree fell on her in the school. Expressing grief over the incident, Education Minister V Sivankutty directed the Director of Public Education to inquire into the incident and submit a report within five days. In a statement, the minister said schools were already instructed to cut down trees that could be dangerous for students and the same should be followed strictly.
All educational institutions, including professional colleges, in the Ernakulam and Alappuzha districts will remain shut on Tuesday in the view of heavy rain.
NDRF teams deployed
Meanwhile, in a Facebook post, Vijayan said that according to the IMD there was possibility of widespread rains in the state in the coming days and taking into account the severity of the rainfall, seven teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in Kerala, one each in Idukki, Pathanamthitta, Malappuram, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Alappuzha and Thrissur districts of the state. Additionally, the State Emergency Operation Centre has been operationalised while district and taluk-level emergency operation centres have been instructed to work round the clock, he said.
In his post, the Chief Minister also advised people against crossing rivers, bathing or fishing in them, avoid night travel to hilly areas and cancel trips to the beach. To those living in coastal areas, Vijayan said that they should follow instructions of the authorities and if required, temporarily relocate themselves from the danger zones.
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 rain. A yellow alert means heavy rainfall between 6 and 11 cm.
Meanwhile, the southwest monsoon has covered the entire country, advancing into the remaining parts of Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana, IMD said. The Met department has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall for the next five days in several states, including Maharashtra, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, and others.