Heavy rains continued in different parts of Kerala on May 15. Coastal regions of the state are facing the wrath of sea, and scores of homes were damaged in these areas. Many trees were uprooted and power supply was disrupted for hours across Kerala as incessant rains and strong winds continued to lash the state. According to the latest update of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), a red warning has been announced in nine districts: Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod on May 15. Orange warning has been announced in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Kottayam districts on May 15.
Heavy rains and gusty winds, accompanied by extensive sea incursion, continued to cause widespread destruction in the coastal hamlets of Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram districts. Valiyathura pier, one of the oldest sea bridges in the state located here, developed a crack. A portion of the over 200-metre-long structure, which offers a breathtaking view of the sea, seemed tilted to a side in the morning, locals said.
The entrance of the bridge was blocked and placed under police security considering the safety of people. In Chellanam in Ernakulam district, rough sea and high tidal waves wreaked havoc, and the same situation was seen in Kaipamangalam, Chavakkad and Kodungallur in Thrissur, Pallithura in Thiruvananthapuram, Thrikkannapuzha in Alappuzha and Beypore, and Koyilandy in Kozhikode district.
Initial reports said hundreds of houses were damaged in coastal belts across the state as sea water seeped in following high waves. For May 16, an orange warning was declared for Ernakulam, Idukki and Malappuram. Thunderstorm with moderate rainfall and gusty winds speed reaching 40 kmph are likely at one or two places in Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod districts, IMD added.
High range and coastal areas in the central and northern districts mainly bore the brunt of nature's fury in the last 24 hours. As the water level in major rivers like Meenachil, Achankovil and Manimala was rising steadily, authorities cautioned people living on its banks to be vigilant.
The shutters of the Kallarkutty, Malankara and Bhoothathankettu dams in hill district Idukki were opened and that of the Maniyar in Pathanamthitta was raised as a precautionary measure following high inflow in the catchment area.
Uprooted trees also caused traffic blocks in several places while the movement in Munnar-Vattavada road in Idukki was disrupted for some time. NDRF personnel were trying to remove trees and clear the paths, authorities said. A large number of people were shifted to relief camps in various districts, arranged in adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
Meanwhile, the Indian Coast Guard Ship Vikram has rescued three fishermen from a small fishing boat off northern Kannur district on Friday night. Local fishing boats and MEW boats were not able to go out for rescue, an Indian Coast Guard statement said.
(With PTI inputs)