The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority has also said that all those moving to relief camps must follow COVID-19 protocol.

A waterbody in the rain, flowing through rocks, there are trees around it
news Kerala Rains 2021 Saturday, October 16, 2021 - 15:42

The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) has issued a series of warnings and instructions for residents in light of the heavy rains that are lashing the state. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red warning for five districts  for October 16 — Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, and Thrissur — while a yellow warning has been issued for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad districts. 

The KSDMA has warned people living in low-lying areas, river coasts and hilly areas prone to landslides and mudslides, to exercise extreme caution. Those who live in disaster-hit areas during the 2018, 2019 and 2020 landslides and floods in Kerala, should make preparations along with the local self-governing bodies and other government systems to face the situation, officials said. Those who live in the areas identified as disaster prone by the Geological Survey of India and KSDMA expert committee should also follow the same preparations.

Disaster relief camps should be prepared considering the COVID-19 situation, as instructed by the KSDMA in the Orange Book of Disaster Management 2021. The public has been advised to cooperate with authorities if they plan to move away from their houses to safer places, the KSDMA said.

Those living in coastal areas should also exercise caution since there are possibilities of sea erosion. They should also be ready to move if the situation demands it and fisherfolk should make sure their equipment is kept safe. Meanwhile, those living in houses which do not have strong doors or roofs should also be ready to move to safer places in the coming days, the KSDMA has advised. Further, all those who are moving to relief camps must follow COVID-19 protocol.

Emergency kit

Those living in the disaster prone areas should urgently prepare an emergency kit to take with them if and when they need to move out of their house. This, as suggested by the KSDMA, includes:

> A bottle of drinking water

> Light food that would not go stale such as nits, dry grapes, biscuits, dates and rusk

> First aid kit containing all necessary medicine

> Important documents such as property deeds, licenses, certificates, ration card, bank records and Aadhaar card, all wrapped in a plastic cover

> A battery-powered radio to listen to the latest warnings and updates

> Personal hygiene materials such as toothpaste and brush and sanitary napkins

> A set of extra clothes

> Necessary equipment for people with disability

> Torch with batteries, candles and matches

> A whistle to get the attention of rescue workers

> A blade or knife

> Mobile phone, along with charger and power bank 

> In light of COVID-19, masks, sanitisers and soap

The KSDMA has also asked authorities to take care of trees, posts and boards in public or private spaces that are likely to pose danger if they fall.

The public has also been advised not to cross, bathe in, go fishing or enter rivers or any other water bodies in light of the situation. They have also been advised against standing on bridges over any water bodies or gathering together. 

Those living downstream from dams have been advised that water may be released due to the rains, and to make preparations accordingly. They should also be prepared to move out if the situation demands it.

All night travel in hilly areas should be avoided, the KSDMA said. The public must also be careful of the accidents that are likely to occur in the rain, with trees or posts likely to fall under strong winds, officials said.

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