District collectors in Kozhikode, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Wayanad have declared a holiday for schools and all academic institutions on Thursday following heavy rains and flash floods.
Five people including three children were killed in flash floods and landslides at Kattippara in Thamarassery in Kozhikode.
According to reports, the school buildings are functioning as relief camps for those affected by the floods and landslides.
All academic institutions barring professional colleges and anganwadi in areas such as Arpookara, Aymanam, Manarcaud, Vijayapuram, Kumarakom and Thiruvaruppu in Kottayam district will remain shut on Thursday, according to a Manorama report.
In Wayanad district, all academic institutions apart from professional colleges have been declared shut. In Vellarikundu Taluk of Kasargode district all academic institutions have been declared shut.
State Public Service Commission examinations, however, will remain unaffected and will be conducted on the same dates.
An official statement has also been released that academic institutions barring professional colleges in Kuttanad, Chethala, Ambalapuzha and Karthikapally taluks in Alappuzha will also remain shut on Thursday.
Further holidays are likely to be declared by the government at heavy rains have been predicted to lash Kerala until June 18.
in Kozhikode and Wayanad, two of the six districts, which have been issued red alert by the government, professional colleges have been asked to remain shut although no official statement has been released by the collector, according to reports.
Apart from schools, entry to tourist destinations such as Gavi, near Pathanamthitta, will remain closed.
The heavy rains and flash floods in Kerala have already claimed the lives of 5, including 3 children in a remote village at Thamarassey Churam, Kozhikode. Eleven people are also reported to be missing and four houses have been swept away in Kattippara, Thamarassery. People are suspected to be trapped under the slush in this area.
Rescue operations which are ongoing have been facing obstacles due to the heavy rains that are lashing these areas currently.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been called in for rescue and relief work in hilly areas. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan posted on his Facebook page that a 48-member team of the NDRF will be immediately dispatched to Kozhikode and that another team of the NDRF will be stationed in the state to face any other rain-related emergencies.