Brief respite from rains in Kerala, IMD withdraws red warning

The IMD had issued a red warning in Kottayam, Idukki and Ernakulam for August 3, which was withdrawn the same day.
A woman holding a blue umbrella and crossing the road in rain
A woman holding a blue umbrella and crossing the road in rain
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The red warning issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) for Kerala was withdrawn, and an orange warning was issued in 11 districts of the state on Wednesday, August 3. This indicates a probable decrease in the intensity of the rains hitting the southern state. The IMD, on Wednesday noon, withdrew the red warning and issued an orange one for the day in all the districts barring Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Kasaragod, where yellow warnings have been issued.

The red warning issued in the state for Thursday was withdrawn, while an orange warning was issued in 12 districts for Thursday, according to an IMD district rainfall forecast issued for Kerala at 10 am. At 10 am on Wednesday, IMD had sounded a red warning in the districts of Kottayam, Idukki and Ernakulam for the day and an orange warning in the remaining districts. It had also issued red warnings in four districts and orange warnings in eight districts for August 4.

Various weather models of the Central Meteorological Department, National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, National Centers for Environmental Prediction and European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, have predicted heavy rainfall in several districts of Kerala during the day.

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

Meanwhile, the state government, in a release, said that 166 relief camps have been set up in various districts and 4,639 people have been relocated there from disaster-hit or disaster-prone areas. It also said that water in six dams — Ponmudi, Lower Periyar, Kallarkutty, Erattayar and Kundala in Idukki and Moozhiyar in Pathanamthitta districts — have reached red alert storage levels.The water in Idukki and Peringalkuthu dams have reached blue and yellow storage alert levels, respectively, it further said.

Earlier in the day, state Revenue Minister K Rajan said that people should strictly avoid going to areas which are inundated or flooded as part of a growing trend of "flood tourism" and warned that police would be used to remove such persons.

Speaking to reporters at Pathanamthitta, the minister said that there was a growing trend among people to visit areas which are flooded and try to enter the waters there or catch fish and the same should be avoided as it creates an additional burden on the authorities carrying out relief and rescue operations. He gave the example of an elephant being stranded for hours in the Chalakudy river on Tuesday morning, news reports of which led to a large number of people arriving at that place and creating a problem for the local authorities. "Such activities in flooded areas would not be permitted at all and if necessary, police assistance would be sought to remove such persons," he said.

As there was some decrease in the intensity of rains in certain parts of the state in the early morning hours on Wednesday, water levels in various major dams and reservoirs were holding steady or had risen only marginally at around 7 am, according to data received from various districts.

The heavy rains led to six deaths — one each in Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam and Ernakulam districts and three in Kannur district — resulting in a total of 12 rain-related casualties in the state from July 31 to August 2, the Kerala State Emergency Operations Center (KSEOC) had said. Besides that, three people have also gone missing from various parts of the state during the day, it said.

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