Intense rains wreak havoc across Kerala; red alert sounded in 3 districts

Power blackouts were reported in many parts of the state due to the damage to electric posts after trees fell over them.

Thiruvananthapuram: Cutting across towns and villages, incessant heavy rains battered several parts of Kerala on Tuesday, widely uprooting trees, damaging houses, and causing waterlogging.

Several people had a narrow escape as huge trees got uprooted in many districts, including Kollam, Alappuzha, Thrissur, Kottayam, and Ernakulam, which have witnessed intense downpours since Monday night.

Power blackouts were reported in many parts of the state due to the damage to electric posts after trees fell over them.

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The falling of trees due to the heavy rains and strong winds damaged homes in many places and also caused traffic blocks on the busy Kollam -Shenkottai route, where vehicle movement was reinstated after the removal of logs that fell on the road.

The heavy rains also resulted in water levels rising in many rivers in central Kerala, threatening to displace people living in the low lying areas.

As the water level in the River Pamba rose, hundreds of families from a tribal colony got stranded in Kurumbanmuzhi in Pathanamthitta district.

The River Meenachil also surged, causing concern for people living in many areas of Kottayam district.

The port-city of Kochi witnessed water logging, a perennial occurrence there during heavy rains, in many places, including at the KSRTC bus stand in the heart of the city, also the commercial hub of the state, causing trouble for passengers.

Coastal areas were put on high alert following rough seas and strong winds. Huge waves and surging sea levels triggered anxiety among coastal dwellers in Nayarambalam in Ernakulam district.

Some fishermen had a narrow escape in Muthalapozhi in Thiruvananthapuram district after their boat capsized following bad weather.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) sounded “red alert” in Idukki, Kasaragod, and Kannur districts and “orange alert” in the rest of the 11 districts for Tuesday.

As the heavy rains continued to wreak havoc in many parts of northernmost Kasaragod, the district administration declared a holiday for educational institutions, including schools, madrassas, and anganwadis, for Wednesday there.

In northern Kannur, 24×7 control rooms have been opened at the Collectorate and taluk offices to provide emergency service for people.

Pathanamthitta and Ernakulam districts also opened similar control rooms and activated emergency response centres, respectively, in the wake of continuing heavy rains.

Mining and related activities have been ordered to be stopped in the majority of districts.

The district administrations also urged people to avoid travelling unnecessarily through high-range roads due to the threat of landslides and to beaches because of sea wrath.

In view of heavy rains continuing in the state, Revenue Minister K Rajan chaired a high level meeting of revenue officials, including district collectors, and reviewed the situation.

In a Facebook post, the minister urged people to be very careful but said there was no need to panic.

He said the revenue department and the state disaster management authority provide accurate information related to the people, and control rooms have already started functioning in all districts. Emergency Operation Centres were also opened in all taluks.

Urging people to take every precaution, Rajan appealed to them to take information from authentic sources.

He also urged them to be careful about fake messages and propaganda.

As heavy rains lashed the southern state on Monday, leading to the death of a girl, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan advised people to be vigilant and avoid getting close to rivers, travel to hilly areas, and trips to the beach.

A red alert indicates heavy to extremely heavy rains of over 20 cm in 24 hours, while an orange alert means very heavy rains of 6 cm to 20 cm of rain.

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