Kerala has been witnessing heavy rains since Sunday night, July 31, and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has also predicted that heavy to very heavy rainfall in many places in Kerala from August 2 to August 4. The IMD has issued an orange warning for seven districts and a yellow warning for six districts on August 1. Due to the incessant rains, a landslide was reported at the 22nd bend of Kallar-Ponmudi road during the late hours of Friday night. However, there were no casualties.
On August 1, orange warning has been issued in seven districts â€” Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam and Idukki; and yellow warning in six districts â€” Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, and Kannur.
On August 2, orange warning has been issued for eight districts â€” Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki and Thrissur; and yellow warning in six districts Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode,Wayanad, Kannur and Kasargod.
On August 3, there is an orange warning in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad; yellow warning in two districts Kannur and Kasargod.
On August 4, IMD has issued a orange warning in 12 districts â€” Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam,Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasargod; and yellow warning in two districts â€” Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam.
The State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) has also asked the residents from the areas affected by landslides and floods in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, and local bodies and government agencies from the areas identified by Geological Survey of India and expert committee of SDMA as hazard prone areas or uninhabitable areas, should be ready with disaster preparedness.
One person has died and another got injured, both hailing from Tamil Nadu, after being swept away in a flash flood at Kumbhavurutty Falls â€” a popular tourist attraction â€” due to the heavy rainfall in the surrounding forest area. A senior forest official of the area said that as soon as they noticed the rainfall and change in water level they asked everyone to move out of the waterfalls but five people could not quickly move away to safety. Forest officials managed to rescue three of them but two got swept away with one of them hitting his head on the rocks at the bottom of the falls, the official said. The two who got swept away had suffered injuries and were rescued, but one of them died later in the hospital, he said.
The forest official said that as a result of the incident, the tourist spot has been closed down till some security measures, like a safety net perhaps, are put in place to prevent anyone from being swept away or losing their balance and falling to the bottom of the falls.
Apart from this, three persons died in Pathanamthitta on Monday. A car while overtaking a bus lost control and fell into a canal overflowing due to the rains. While two people were brought dead to the hospital, a third person died later.
Meanwhile, the rains in parts of Kottayam district flooded eight houses in Kanjirappally taluk and also caused a landslide in Munnilav village in Meenachil taluk, the district officials said. The water level of Meenachil river at Cherippad station also crossed the warning level due to heavy rainfall in the region since afternoon, officials said.
Functioning of Kerala High Court was also affected briefly for 45 minutes on Monday as the proceedings started at 11 am instead of the scheduled 10.15 am owing to heavy downpour.
In view of the orange warnings issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) for the coming week, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, on Sunday, said that those in hilly areas should be cautious and as a precautionary measure they should be shifted to relief camps as soon as rains start.
The Chief Minister, in a Facebook post, also said that the district and taluk control rooms should be on warning 24X7, police and fire brigades should be ready for action and steps should be taken to prevent potential accidents due to trees, hoardings or posts being dislodged by strong winds. He further said camps should also be set up in coastal areas and fishermen should not be allowed to go to sea.
Besides that, power houses and important institutions in low-lying areas which could get inundated due to the rains should take precautionary measures, water level in dams be monitored closely and the situation communicated to the district and state disaster management authorities in time, Pinarayi said in his post. He said people should be careful as, in the coming days, the rains were likely to intensify.
(With PTI and IANS inputs)