Kerala rains: Sabarimala pilgrimage suspended, CUET postponed due to red warning

A red warning has been declared in eight districts of Kerala by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
A person on top of a horse submerged in flood water near temple
A person on top of a horse submerged in flood water near temple
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Incessant rains in Kerala have thrown life out of gear even as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red warning for eight districts in the state. The Kerala government has said that 46 people lost their lives from July 29 to August 4 in connection with rain-related incidents. A red warning has been declared in eight districts of Kerala by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) as rains continue to lash various parts of the state. Rains have also disrupted the day-to-day lives of the people as many roads were flooded or caved in and many got displaced from their homes to relief camps.

— A red warning is in place for August 4 in Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad and Kannur. An orange warning is in place in the remaining districts, except for Thiruvananthapuram, where a yellow warning is in place.

— A total of 14 relief camps have been set up in the state and 5,849 people belonging to 1,732 families have been moved to the camps.

— The Kerala government has said that 46 people have died from rain-related incidents in the state from July 29 to August 4. One person is missing in Kollam while another person died in Kottayam district. In Thrissur, two fishermen met with an accident and one body has been found while a search operation is on to locate the second fisherman.

— The famed Sabarimala temple which opens for a few days during the beginning of the Malayalam calendar has started to restrict devotees. Devotees have been barred from entering the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple in Pathanamthitta in the wake of rising water levels in the river Pampa. From now on, people will not be allowed to enter the Sannidhanam from the river, and those in Sannidhanam are expected to climb down the hill by 6 pm. The district administration has warned that all instructions should be strictly adhered to.  Meanwhile, landslides have entirely cut off access to road transport in the Moozhiyar-Gavi stretch of Pathanamthitta.

— Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has asked the people living on the banks of water bodies to be extremely cautious. They have been asked to follow the directives of the district authorities and be prepared to move to relief camps if a need arises. "Those living in low-lying areas in Thrissur and Ernakulam districts and had moved out to relief camps during the 2018 floods, should do so this time as well. Night travel should not be undertaken on the higher ranges of the state. With most of the rivers in spate, none should attempt to cross it and fishing and swimming have been banned. In vulnerable places, residents should ensure they have an emergency kit packed and kept ready," said CM Pinarayi.

— The National Testing Agency (NTA) on Thursday postponed the CUET-UG (Common University Entrance Test for UnderGraduate courses) in Kerala due to heavy rains in the state. The second phase of CUET-UG, which got under way in the rest of the country and nine cities abroad on Thursday, will continue until August 6. Nearly 6.8 lakh candidates had registered for the second phase of the test. The CUET (UG) 2022 for the candidates who will be appearing in cities of Kerala State for 04, 05 and 06 August 2022 has been postponed and fresh dates for the exam will be announced later.

— The inclement weather in the state resulted in water levels of various rivers — like Pampa, Manimala and Achankovil — in Pathanamthitta district rising close to or crossing danger levels.

— In Thrissur, the fourth shutter of Peringalkuthu dam was opened leading to rising water levels of the Chalakudy river to dangerous levels prompting the district officials to ask people living on its banks to evacuate immediately. Even the shutters of Chimmini dam are expected to be raised further in view of the heavy rains in Thrissur district and as a result, the water in Kurumali river there which is already above warning levels is expected to rise further, officials said.

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