Heavy rain batters Kerala, IMD sounds red alert for six districts
A red alert has been sounded in six districts of Kerala as the low pressure that has developed over the Bay of Bengal gained strength. It will continue to rain for the next three days, the India Meteorological Department’s regional centre in Thiruvananthapuram said.
Several parts of the state have been receiving heavy rain for the past few days and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams are on standby in affected areas. Shutters of many swollen dams have been opened to ease storage and several rivers are filled to the brim. People living in low-lying areas have been shifted to relief camps as a precautionary measure.
IMD regional centre director, K Santhosh, said the low pressure area is likely to become more marked over the northwest part of the Bay of Bengal during the next 24 hours. Fishermen have been warned not to venture into the sea and landslide-prone areas have also been warned. On August 7, a landslide in Idukki district had flattened a row of dwelling units claiming 70 lives.
Usually the IMD sounds a red alert if the rainfall is expected to be more than 20 cm and above in 24 hours and orange alert if it is between 11 and 20 cms. Vadakara in Kozhikode district received 10 cam rainfall till Sunday noon and many areas also witnessed high-speed winds. The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority has banned night travel in hilly areas in view of the prevailing situation. Red alert is in force in six districts_ Kasaragod, Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram and Idukki and orange alert in four other districts.
The state has already crossed the 2000 mm rainfall mark during the current south-west monsoon season-- this is the third consecutive year the state is surpassing the usual quota of (2000 mm) of rain, IMD data showed. In 2018, the state had witnessed a severe flood which claimed more than 500 lives.