Thiruvananthapuram: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued heavy rainfall warning for at least six districts in Kerala until May 16. The state's police force has been put on high alert.
A red alert had been sounded for Ernakulam and Idukki on Saturday. The two districts will slip under orange alert on Sunday along with Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Kottayam.
Thiruvananthapuram will fall under orange alert in addition to the six other districts on Tuesday.
Kerala Chief Secretary VP Joy had called an emergency meeting of all the concerned departments to take stock of the state's disaster management preparedness.
A red alert indicates heavy to extremely heavy rains of over 20 cm in 24 hours, while an orange alert means very heavy rains from 6 cm to 20 cm of rainfall. A yellow alert means heavy rainfall between 6 to 11 cm.
The IMD said squally weather with wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph is likely to prevail over the Kerala coast and advised fishermen not to venture into the sea till May 16.
As it was raining in the southern part of the state for the past few days, the district administrations have issued a warning to people staying in low-lying areas, on the banks of the rivers and in hilly regions to remain vigilant.
The IMD has earlier predicted that the Southwest monsoon, which is also known as Edavapathi in the state, is likely to bring the first showers to Kerala by May 27, five days earlier than the normal onset date.
Kerala Police step into action
State police chief Anil Kant has told the district heads of the force to be on high alert considering the rain situation in the state.
It was decided to set up control rooms in all districts that require immediate attention. Two ADGPs will oversee the arrangements.
ADGP K Padmakumar has been designated as the nodal officer for the deployment of personnel while ADGP Vijay Sakhare will be in charge of the disaster management efforts.
DGP Kant has asked for special attention in coastal areas and regions prone to landslides.
Coastal police stations have been directed to keep on standby safety boats and other facilities. The Police Telecommunications SP is tasked with ensuring uninterrupted connectivity during rescue efforts when needed.