Cyclonic storm Tauktae: Kerala identifies 3000 buildings as relief camps

Many parts of coastal Kerala are already witnessing severe sea incursion and flooding due to heavy rains.
Thiruvananthapuram sea incursion
Thiruvananthapuram sea incursion
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As many parts of Kerala face extremely heavy rainfall due to a low-pressure system over the Arabian Sea, the state government has identified around 3,000 buildings to be used as relief camps for those affected. These camps are already seeing an influx of people, and many from Kozhikode, Ponnani, Ernakulam, Alappuzha, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts have relocated as water entered their homes. The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority has asked people to shift to relief camps if necessary.

The low-pressure system was formed on Thursday, May 13 and will likely intensify into a cyclonic storm ‘Tauktae’ over May 14-May 15, the Indian Meteorological Department predicted. A few shutters of the Aruvikkara dam in Thiruvananthapuram and the Boothathankettu dam in Ernakulam have been opened as a result of the heavy rains. In coastal areas like Velinakode in Malappuram district, Kasaba in Kozhikode and Alappad in Kollam have reported sea erosion. Chellanam in Ernakulam district has been completely inundated under heavy rains and sea incursion.

"Squally wind speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph likely along and off Kerala coast on May 14 and 50-60 kmph gusting to 70 kmph along and off Kerala. Sea conditions will be rough to very rough over the Comorin area and along and off Kerala coast on May 14 and 15," the IMD’s warning read.

The IMD on May 13 issued a series of alerts for districts in Kerala that will face the effects of the storm. A red alert has been issued in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta and Ernakulam on May 14, and for Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod for May 15. An orange alert has been given for Kottayam, Idukki, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram and Palakkad on May 14 and Kollam, Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Idukki, Thrissur and Ernakulam for May 15.

Ernakulam, Idukki and Malappuram are under orange alert on May 16 as well.

Various district administrations have opened control rooms at the district, taluk and panchayat levels to assist those affected by the storm. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has earmarked 53 teams to tackle possible after-effects of the cyclonic storm 'Tauktae', a senior officer said on May 14. NDRF Director General S N Pradhan said in a tweet that these teams are being deployed in the coastal regions of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

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