Torrential rain continues to batter Kerala; widespread damage in coastal areas

Kerala rain
High waves lashing the Shankhumukham Beach in Thiruvananthapuram. Photo: Rinkuraj Mattancheriyil

Thiruvananthapuram: Heavy rains and gusty winds, accompanied by extensive sea incursion, continue to cause widespread destruction in coastal belts across Kerala as an impact of the Cyclone Tauktae.

A large number of people were shifted to relief camps in various districts, arranged in adherence to COVID-19 protocol.

The Central Water Commission (CWC) has issued flood warnings for those who live near the Manimala and Achankovil rivers in Pathanamthitta district.

The shutters of the Kallarkutty and Malankara dams in Idukki and Bhoothathankettu dam in Ernakulam were opened and that of the Maniyar in Pathanamthitta and Aruvikkara here were raised as a precautionary measure following high inflow in the catchment area.

According to statistics till Saturday, dams under the Kerala State Electricity Board had 33 per cent water and the Irrigation Department-maintained reservoirs were 65 per cent full. The KSEB evaluates that the dams need not be opened even if it rains heavily for two-three more days.

IMD alerts for Sunday

Orange alert in Malappuram,Ernakulam, and Idukki districts.

Yellow alert in Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Palakkad, Thrissur, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kollam, and Thiruvananthapuram districts.

The shutters of the Kallarkutty dam opened due to the rising water level during heavy rain in Idukki, Saturday, May 15, 2021. Photo: PTI

Widespread damage, two lives lost

Torrential rains accompanied by fierce winds and high tidal waves wreaked havoc and claimed two lives in Kerala, as it lashed the state since last night forcing the government to shift hundreds of families to relief camps.

The southernmost district,Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod in the northern tip, witnessed widespread uprooting of trees, water-logging and disruption of power supply since last night.

High range and coastal belts in the central and northern districts, where houses and roads were rampantly destroyed and trees got uprooted widely, were the worst affected in the rain fury.

Hundreds of houses were damaged in the coastal hamlets of Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram districts as sea water seeped in following high waves.

Two deaths have been reported in the state in the last two days.

"Two persons drowned in Ernakulam and Kozhikode districts. Stepping into water bodies and crossing rivers should be avoided during the times of heavy rains and winds," Chief Minister Pimarayi Vijayan said.

Worry over rising water levels

As the water level in major rivers like Meenachil, Achankovil and Manimala was rising steadily, authorities cautioned people living on its banks to be vigilant.

As many as 1,128 people, belonging to 293 families, were moved to relief camps in the capital district Thiruvananthapuram alone, official sources said.

According to figures, 71 relief camps have been opened in the state this month, where over 2,000 people are staying.

9 missing after fishing boat sinks off Lakshadweep

The Coast Guard has launched a search for nine fishermen who went missing in the Arabian Sea after their boat had sunk off Bitra atoll, part of the Lakshadweep archipelago, around 7 am on Saturday.

The boat’s Master Manivel, his brother Manikandan, Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, residents Murugan, Irumban, Dinesan, Injayyan, Praveen and two others were the fishermen who had been missing in the sea.

The boat, belonging to Manivel of Nagapattinam, had set sail from Vypeen, Kochi. The Coast Guard has sought the Navy’s help to find the missing men.

Two other boats, which were with the ill-fated vessel, docked safely in Amini Island. Boats have been allowed to dock in the island in the wake of Cyclone Tauktae.

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