The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Saturday, May 14, issued a red alert for Ernakulam and Idukki districts of Kerala indicating extremely heavy rainfall and an orange alert for southern districts till May 16. 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 rainfall. A yellow alert means heavy rainfall between 6 to 11 cm.
The IMD has issued a red alert for Ernakulam and Idukki for Saturday while an orange alert has been issued for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam and Thrissur districts till May 16. The IMD said squally weather with wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph is likely to prevail over the Kerala coast and advised fishermen not to venture into sea till May 16. The weatherman has also issued a yellow alert for Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad districts on these days.
Since it was raining in the southern part of the state for the past few days, the district administrations have issued warning to people staying in low lying areas, on the banks of the rivers and hilly regions to remain vigilant. The IMD had also predicted heavy to very heavy rains in several districts of Tamil Nadu till May 17. Thunderstorms with light to heavy rain are also predicted over Chennai and adjoining districts on these days.
The IMD had earlier predicted that the southwest monsoon is likely to bring the first showers to Kerala by May 27, five days earlier than the normal onset date. The normal onset date for the monsoon over Kerala is June 1. The early arrival of the southwest monsoon comes at a time when parts of northwest India are experiencing extremely high maximum temperatures. Monsoon is likely to make an early onset over Andaman and Nicobar Islands by May 15, the weather office said.