The India Meteorological Department on Tuesday issued a red alert for ten districts in Kerala amid heavy rains in the state.
A red alert warns of heavy to extremely heavy rain and authorities are asked to tackle any adverse situation.
The red alert was issued for all the districts of the state except Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Kasaragod, where orange alerts have been put in place.
An orange alert warns of very heavy rain and the authorities are asked to stay prepared.
Isolated heavy rainfall and thunderstorm are likely in parts of Kerala till August 5, the weather office said.
Visuals by ANI showed a submerged bridge in Kottayam after heavy rainfall there.
On Sunday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged citizens to remain vigilant, citing the forecast, PTI reported.
“As the India Meteorological Department has warned of heavy rains in the state for the next five days, people should be very vigilant,” he said.
On Monday, Vijayan called for an immediate meeting with district collectors, India Today reported. The chief minister also visited the state disaster management office and took stock of the preparations.
He also requested citizens to not travel to hilly regions during this period.
In Idukki, night travel has been restricted. Control rooms have been opened in various districts.
According to the IMD prediction, the intensity of the rainfall will reduce after Friday.
Six deaths due to rains
Vijayan said that six deaths have been reported in rain-related incidents in the state so far, ANI reported on Tuesday.
“Five houses destroyed and 55 houses partially destroyed,” the chief minister added.
A joint emergency cell of the National Disaster Response Force and state forces has been formed, he said. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in Idukki, Kozhikode, Thrissur and Wayanad districts.
Holiday declared for schools, colleges
District authorities in some parts of Kerala declared a holiday for educational institutions on Monday, PTI reported.
The collectors of Pathanamthitta and Kollam districts declared a holiday for schools and colleges in a few taluks.
Stay prepared, HC tells Kochi authorities
The Kerala High Court has directed the disaster management authority and the Kochi Corporation officials to stay prepared and ensure that all the necessary measures are taken ahead of the rainfall warning, ANI reported on Tuesday.
The directions were issued after Justice Devan Ramachandran took note of the weather reports in the state.
The judge has also directed the district collector, Kochi Corporation and the Cochin Smart Mission Limited to file detailed reports and share any remedial measures. The reports are to be submitted before August 4, when the court will hear the matter next.
The judge has also asked the assistant solicitor general of India, appearing for the Railways, to give directions to a competent officer to work with the district collector and the corporation and ensure that all the culverts are kept free, ANI reported. A progress report on this has to also be submitted to the court.
“What is worrying to this court is that there are warnings of heavier rains in the next few days also,” the judge observed. “This year, we are again facing flooding, though not in the scale as in the year of 2018, but which, on account of the heavier rains that we expect, can manifest a problem...If the canals are ready to receive the rainfall and did not flood then certainly, the problem lies within the internal drainage system of the city.”
The judge further said that all stakeholders should “be at the ground level” and take prompt steps as required.