Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday shared the India Meteorological Department’s warning of heavy rainfall in the state and urged fishermen to return to the coast by October 5. Vijayan said the State Disaster Management Authority had met to assess the situation, ANI reported.
The weather department forecast heavy rainfall in parts of Kerala on October 4, 5 and 6 and very heavy rainfall on October 7. “A low pressure area is very likely to form over southeast Arabian Sea on October 5,” the Met department’s release said. “It is likely to concentrate into a depression and move northwestwards during subsequent 48 hours. It is likely to intensify in to a cyclonic storm thereafter.”
The chief minister said his government has declared a red alert in three districts in the state for October 7 and asked assistance from central agencies. “We have asked for five companies of National Disaster Response Force personnel,” Vijayan told reporters.
Vijayan said district administrations have been directed to take the necessary measures to handle the crisis and advised tourists against travelling to hilly regions of the state, particularly to Munnar.
At least 483 people died in the state in rain-related incidents this monsoon. During the worst phase of the flooding in August, there were 14,50,707 people living in relief camps.
The chief minister’s announcement follows a media report that claimed that the Met department had under-reported the intensity of rainfall in Kerala that led to one of the worst floods the state had faced. The report said the department had accurately predicted heavy rain.
“Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme temperature and rainfall events across the world,” SK Dash, a professor at the Centre for Atmospheric Sciences at Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi, told the Hindustan Times. “There is no doubt about it. This is based on both data and scientific models.”