Heavy rains lash Kerala, red alert in 8 districts

Extremely heavy rains predicted in Kerala, red alert in four districts

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala witnessed heavy rains across several districts on Sunday.

A red alert was issued in eight districts and shutters were raised at seven dams following the torrential downpour in these areas.

Palakkad's Malambuzha dam, Pothundi Dam, Wayand's Banasura Dam, Kanjirappuzha dam, Mangalam dam were among the dams opened.
The water levels of the rivers are also on the rise. Madhuvahini river and Tejaswini river in Kasaragod has breached their banks.

Twelve families in the Vallarikundu taluk have been shifted to refugee camps. Chengalai, Malappattom, Irikkur, Kottiyoor, Ayyankunnu, Ullikkal panchayats have been issued alerts.

Anjarakandim, Iritti and Mayyil areas have suffered major losses in agriculture.

Meanwhile, several vehicles overturned in the strong wind in Kochi.

According to the India Meteorological Department, a low pressure area is likely to develop over the North East Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood around September 20 and under its influence widespread rains with isolated heavy to very heavy falls are likely over Kerala during September19-21.

A red alert has been issued in Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod districts. An orange alert has been issued in the remaining districts, except Thiruvananthapuram which was sounded a yellow alert.

In view of the alerts, the Navy, Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters, Police, Fire Force, are all ready to swing into action in case of any emergency requests, sources said.

In districts where the red and orange alerts have been issued, people living in disaster-prone areas would be shifted to camps as a precautionary measure.

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During night, as the rains are likely to intensify, people in areas prone to landslides and mudslides will be shifted to a safer places during the day time itself as a precautionary measure.

Night travel in hilly areas from 7 pm to 7 am has been banned, Kerala State Disaster Management Authority said.

Fishermen have been warned not to put out to sea as strong winds with speed reaching 45-55 kmph is likely to prevail along and off Kerala, Karnataka Coasts and over Lakshadweep area.

A landslide triggered by heavy rains in the hilly district of Idukki on August 7 had flattened a row of dwelling units of tea estate workers at Pettimudi in Rajamalai claiming 66 lives.