Cyclone Burevi: Kerala declares public holiday in five districts, exams postponed

The Kerala government has declared a public holiday in five districts for Friday in view of the impending cyclone Burevi set to sweep through several of its southern districts.

The five districts are Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Idukki. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that these districts would receive heavy rains and see high wind from December 3 to 5.

Though a red alert was declared for these districts, IMD on Thursday withdrew it in Pathanamthitta, Kollam and Kottayam districts. A yellow alert has been declared in its stead.

Tropical cyclone Burevi is expected to sweep through Kerala on the afternoon of December 4 but with reduced intensity (less than 60 km/hr).

Exams postponed

Mahatma Gandhi University, Cochin University and Kerala University have postponed their exams scheduled for December 4 in view of the cyclone. A new date will be announced soon.

PSU exams too have been postponed, however, the interviews are likely to remain as scheduled.

No change to election-related work

Despite the announcement of a public holiday on Friday, all election-related work is to go as scheduled.

"The commissioning of electronic voting machines, training of polling officials, giving notice to new polling officials, and all local government offices will not be interrupted," Principal Secretary of Revenue Dr A Jayathilak said.

Polytechnic colleges

The spot admission process at polytechnic colleges in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta and Idukki districts have been postponed.

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Thiruvananthapuram airport shut

Thiruvananthapuram district, likely to face the full brunt of the cyclone with strong gusts and heavy rain, will see its international airport remain shut for eight hours from Friday morning.

Power Board helpline

The Power Board has opened a control room to ensure proper response and service in the aftermath of cyclone Burevi. It will be operational 24 hours a day. The phone numbers are: 1912, 94960, 10101.

Tourism activities banned

Tourism activities in Idukki district, including adventure tourism, boating and off-road driving, have been banned until Saturday. Traffic in the high ranges too will be banned from 7pm Friday to 7am Saturday.

KSRTC buses won't ply

KSRTC buses will not ply on Friday. "The public holiday announced by the government on December 4 will apply to KSRTC too," Biju Prabhakar, Chairman and Managing Director of KSRTC, said.

"Instead, the service will be dedicated to disaster relief activities and for essential services," he added.

Relief camps

Elaborate preparations have been made in Kerala to mitigate the threat posed by the cyclone. Over 2,000 relief camps have been opened across the southern districts.

No major flood-like situation: Kerala CM

While Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has dismissed the chances of a major flood-like situation, he said waterlogging in low-lying areas and mudslip or landslides in high ranges are likely.