Amid heavy rains in Kerala, a few low lying areas in the state were flooded on May 15, Sunday. Many parts of Ernakulam district were inundated, causing traffic congestion. Kalamassery, South Railway station, P&T Colony, and Udaya Colony were some of the worst-affected areas in the district. Water entered many houses and institutions in these areas. India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday issued a red alert in five districts of the state for Sunday and Monday, indicating extremely heavy rainfall.
IMD issued a red alert in Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Malappuram and Kozhikode districts for Sunday. Red alert has been issued in Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur districts for Monday. Revenue Minister K Rajan told the media that directions have been issued to district collectors to deal with any emergencies. As the heavy downpour alert was issued, the government on Saturday evening called a high-level meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary to assess and take steps for mitigation measures.
"We held a meeting on Saturday, chaired by the Chief secretary. Directions have been issued to all district collectors and other concerned authorities. As of now, the rivers are not overflowing. We have issued special directions to hilly districts and hazard analysts have been asked to closely monitor the situation," Rajan said. He said all departments concerned have been alerted and people from danger-prone areas will be evacuated without delay if necessary. "As of now there is no need for opening relief camps across the state. But we need to be careful as there are chances of landslides if the rain continues," Rajan said.
Upon the request of the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA), the NDRF teams were deployed in five districts of Idukki, Ernakulam, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad. NDRF said the teams are self-contained and equipped with flood rescue equipment, collapsed structure search and rescue equipment, communication equipment and PPE kits. It said the control room at Arakkonam was closely monitoring the situation round the clock.
With the red alert being issued in more districts today, the state government and the SDMA have asked people to stay away from rivers and other water bodies. The SDMA has also asked people not to travel to hilly regions unless it's an emergency and to avoid night travel until the rain subdues. The IMD has earlier predicted that the Southwest monsoon, which is also known as Edavapathy in the state, is likely to bring its first showers to Kerala by May 27, five days earlier than the normal onset date.
Since it was raining in the southern part of the state for the past few days, the district administrations have issued warnings to people staying in low lying areas, on the banks of the rivers and hilly regions to remain vigilant.
Kodungallur in Thrissur district received 20 cm of rain on Saturday as per the IMD website, which is the highest rainfall in Kerala in the last 24 hours. Aluva in Ernakulam district received 19 cm of rain while CIAL Kochi in Ernakulam, Irinjalakuda in Thrissur district and Kottarakkara in Kollam district received 17 cm rain each.
Most parts of Ernakulam city were inundated on Sunday due to heavy rainfall which lasted the whole night. Two relief camps have been opened in Ernakulam city to house families affected by waterlogging. A total of nine families from various places were housed in two camps.
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 rain. A yellow alert means heavy rainfall between 6 to 11 cm.
With PTI inputs