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Kerala Braces for Another Spell of Heavy Downpour, Alert Sounded Across 10 Districts

Ten of the 14 districts in Kerala are expected to receive heavy rainfall, while water levels in several rivers are on the rise.
Vehicles move on the road during heavy rain in Kochi

Vehicles move on the road during heavy rain in Kochi. Image Courtesy: ANI

Most districts in Kerala continue to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall, leading to the flooding of rivers and low-lying areas. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for ten of the fourteen districts for August 2 and 3, while eight districts have a similar alert on August 4.  

The intensity of rainfall has decreased in the southern districts while the fury has shifted to central and northern districts. The IMD has issued red or orange alerts to all the districts till August 5 after which the rains are predicted to reduce. 

Major rivers across the state are in spate while incidents of landslides are also being reported. The Central Water Commission has issued flood warnings for five river banks. So far, nine deaths have been confirmed in rain-related accidents.

Idukki and Wayanad districts have been put under high alert as most hilly areas are prone to landslides. People living near flooded rivers and landslide-sensitive areas have been asked to shift to camps. So far 49 relief camps have been opened to house 757 people.

INTENSE RAINS SHIFT TO CENTRAL, NORTH KERALA

The southern districts witnessed a reduction in the rain from the morning of August 2, after two days of heavy rainfall. A north-south trough and a shear zone are cited as the reasons for the intense rainfall in Kerala. The educational institutions were closed for the day in eight districts as the administration declared holidays. Around 5o houses have suffered damage so far. 

The red alert issued to Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Pathanamthitta districts were withdrawn, and they were put under orange alert zones by the IMD. Vellaikadavu and Aruvippuram rivers in Thiruvananthapuram district, Pullakkayar river in Kottayam district, Maadaman and Kallooppara in Pathanamthitta district are listed. The state announced red alert for seven dams nearing the maximum capacity as well. 

The fishermen who ventured into the seas after the trawling ban suffered immensely due to the rains and gusty winds. One person is missing and few others were injured when a boat carrying fishermen was rocked by strong waves while returning to Neendakara in Kollam district.

Landslides have been reported from Kannur, Kottayam and Idukki districts. The body of a two-and-a-half-year-old girl child who was washed away in floods was recovered in Kannur. 

The coast guard has launched an aerial search operation for two missing fishermen in Chettuva in Thrissur district, while six fishermen were rescued.  

The Aluva Shiva temple in Ernakulam remains inundated in the water while the Athirappaly falls in Thrissur district is witnessing a heavy influx of water. Traffic in Kochi and several parts of Ernakulam suffered badly owing to water stagnation as well. 

ALERT SOUNDED 

Mudslides have been reported in five different places in Kottayam district. The water levels in two big rivers in the district have been on the rise prompting the shopkeepers to shift their belongings to safe places. 

With water levels increasing in the rivers of Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode districts, several places have been inundated. Discharges from the dams are also increasing the water stagnation in many small towns and villages. 

“Considering the heavy rainfall forecast by the IMD, the government has decided to shift people from the flood-prone areas to relief camps. People must not hesitate to move to the camps and cooperate with the authorities,” Chief Minister PInarayi Vijayan said in a statement. 

A coordinated operation including the national disaster response force (NDRF) and the fire and rescue service has been initiated. Nine NDRF units have arrived in the state and are located in Idukki, Wayanad, Thrissur, Malappuram, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Kollam, and Pathanamthitta districts. 

Considering the IMD alert on very heavy rainfall in ten districts, the state government and district administration have announced several restrictions. The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) has geared up activities with further intense rains in the northern districts. 

The government has banned fishing in the Kerala and Lakshadweep seas till August 4. 

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