Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday warned about landslides and flooding after the India Meteorology Department said that the inclement weather in the state is likely to continue till Thursday, reported The Hindu.
Thirty-eight people have died in rain-related incidents between October 12 and October 18, according to the State Disaster Management Authority, reported The News Minute. At least 90 homes have been destroyed and 702 partially damaged during the same period, the disaster authority added.
On Tuesday, the Kerala government advised people living in higher altitude areas and near river banks to be extremely cautious in view of the heavy rainfall, said a release from the chief minister’s office. Isolated very heavy rainfall is expected in Kerala on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the India Meteorology Department.
The statement noted that many parts of the state were prone to landslides, mudslides and overflowing rivers during the last phase of the Southwest monsoon. It added that intense spells of rainfall could unleash havoc.
The data from the weather department has shown that Kerala received 135% excess rain between October 1 and October 19, reported PTI. It showed that the normal rainfall for the period is 192.7 mm while the actual rainfall was recorded at 453.5 mm.
Meanwhile, 11 National Disaster Response Force teams and two teams each of the Indian Army and the Defence Security Corps have been deployed in various districts of the state. Two Indian Air Force helicopters and one belonging to the Navy have also been kept on standby.
So far, 3,071 buildings have been identified for setting up relief camps to accommodate over 4 lakh people.
Vijayan said directions have been issued to relocate families from dwellings that the Geological Survey of India and the State Disaster Management Authority experts have categorised as unsafe. These families would be shifted to relief camps till the rainfall stops.
The chief minister has also cautioned the administration and the residents to not let their guard down on days with clear skies. “Weather warnings could change any time and errors in issuing alerts would also have to be factored in,” he said.
Gates of three dams opened
The state government opened the gates of Idukki dam in Cheruthoni, Idamalayar dam in Ernakulam and Pampa dam in Pathanamthitta on Tuesday, reported The News Minute.
Authorities opened three shutters of the Idukki dam that will reportedly let out 70,000 litres of water.
State Electricity Minister K Krishnankutty said that the gates were opened considering the security of the people even though the losses incurred by the state power board when the water level will decrease is likely to be high.
The water level in the dam had kept increasing even when rainfall had subsided in several parts of the state on Monday. On Monday evening, the water level in Idukki dam had reached 2,397.44 feet, almost touching the red alert level mark of 2,397.86 feet. The dam, at its full capacity, can hold 2,403 feet of water.
In Ernakulam, the district administration said that two of the three shutters of the Idamalayar dam were opened by 50 cms each. Pathanamthitta district administration also said it has opened three of the four gates of the Pampa dam by 45 cms each.