With the cyclonic storm Burevi expected to make landfall in Kerala on December 4, authorities on Wednesday opened over 2,000 relief camps in the state and banned fishing along the coast for three days. Control rooms have been opened in the state to deal with the cyclone and the public can call for help on 1077.
A deep depression over 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 the state 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. A total of 690 people have been shifted so far to different relief camps.
Eight teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have already reached the state, he said. Pinarayi also spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who assured him of all possible help from the Centre.
"Experts have opined that Cyclone Burevi will reach Thiruvananthapuram by Friday. We have discussed matters related to the cyclone with Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he told reporters.
"We have explained the steps taken by the state government," he said. Pinarayi asked people not to worry and said his government has made all arrangements to face the situation. He said 690 members of 175 families have already been shifted to 13 relief camps.
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. He also said that people shouldn't panic.
The State Disaster Management Authority banned fishing along the Kerala coast till December 5. A red warning has been declared in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha on December 3. Most of the boats that went fishing in these districts were brought back.
The state government also asked people to avoid travel to high range areas in view of the heavy rain forecast.
The IMD has issued a red warning (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.
With PTI inputs