Kerala rain: Orange alert in 3 districts, night travel ban in Pathanamthitta's hilly areas

Two women cross a waterlogged paddy field in Wayanad. Photo: Jithin Joel Haarim/Manorama

While the flood-hit State capital struggles back to normalcy, Kerala continued to witness heavy rain in several districts on Thursday.

Predicting heavy rainfall of 7-11 cm at isolated places in the next 24 hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an orange alert in the three districts of Pathanamthitta, Idukki and Kozhikode.

A yellow alert was declared in six districts-Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Malappuram and Wayanad.

The Met department said that cyclonic circulations over Tamil Nadu were likely to cause moderate to medium rainfall accompanied by thunder and lightning in Kerala during the next five days.

Heavy waterlogging was reported on the Pathanamthitta-Thiruvalla and Punalur-Muvattupuzha roads.

Widespread destruction of agriculture and damage to properties were reported in the Thiruvalla and Konni areas and traffic was disrupted on Kumali-Munnar road as uprooted trees blocked vehicles.

The hilly areas of Nedumangadu and Neyyattinkara in Thiruvananthapuram also witnessed heavy rains.

The shutters of Kallarkutty and Pambla dams in Idukki districts were raised in the morning due to increased water levels following heavy rains in their catchment areas.

In the wake of the raising of the shutters in the dams, the Idukki district collector urged people living on the shores of the Periyar and Muthirapuzhayar rivers to exercise extra vigil.

The collector also directed officials concerned to take necessary precautionary measures to ensure the safety of local residents in case of any emergency

Night travel ban in Pathanamthitta
In view of the risk of natural disasters due to the heavy rains, Pathanamthitta Collector A Shibu prohibited night travel and tourist activities in the hilly areas of the district from November 22 to 24.

In an order issued by the Collector, travel to hilly areas of Pathanamthitta district between 7.00 pm to 6.00 am, kayaking and boating for recreational purposes has been prohibited till November 24.

The district administration said the order was being issued as there was a possibility of natural disasters such as localised small floods, mudslides and landslides in view of the continuing heavy rains. The prohibition would not apply to Sabarimala pilgrims or travel related to the pilgrimage or disaster relief, the district administration said.

However, pilgrims were advised to be cautious while travelling to and from Sabarimala, especially at night, in view of the red alert issued in the district. The heavy rains on Tuesday had inconvenienced the thousands of devotees trudging up to the hill-top shrine of Lord Ayyappa in Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district as part of a pilgrimage during the two-month long annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku period.

Meanwhile, a 71-year-old woman was swept away in a stream near Valiyakulam village in Pathanamthitta district following the heavy rains.

(With PTI inputs.)

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