Workers make their way home in the rain. File photo: Russel Shahul/Manorama

Heavy rain to lash Kerala till May 27, orange alert in 8 districts today

Kochi: Kerala is grappling with the onslaught of heavy pre-monsoon rains, prompting the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to issue an orange alert in the seven districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Kozhikode and Kannur.  An orange alert denotes very heavy rainfall of 11 cm to 20 cm, and a yellow alert means heavy rainfall between 6 cm and 11 cm. Squally weather with wind speed reaching 40 kmph to 45 kmph gusting to 55 kmph is likely to prevail along and off Kerala coast on Friday. The KSDMA has advised fishermen to refrain from venturing into the sea.

Yellow alert in districts
May 24: Kollam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Wayanad, Kasaragod
May 25: Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Kozhikode, Kannur, Kasaragod
May 26: Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Thrissur
May 27: Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam

The presence of a low pressure system in Arabian Sea besides the Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify the rain in Kerala and Lakshadweep. The well-marked low-pressure system existing in the Bay of Bengal is likely to concentrate into a depression on Friday and thereafter into a cyclonic storm namel 'Remal' over east-central Bay of Bengal the next day.

Meanwhile, Alappuzha recorded the highest rainfall in the country on Thursday (105.3mm). This was followed by Ernakulam (97.4mm) and Kottayam (92.7mm) in the second and third positions. The State received a total of 326.4 mm pre-monsoon rains from March 1. This is 18% above normal.

223 in relief camps
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged caution among residents, highlighting the risk of flash floods, particularly in urban and low-lying areas susceptible to waterlogging, and the potential for landslides due to prolonged rainfall.

 According to the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority, 15 houses across the state fully collapsed while 218 were partially damaged in the heavy rains. Currently, 223 individuals are sheltered in eight relief camps operational across the state. Relief camps have been established in Kozhikode, Malappuram, Ernakulam, and Thiruvananthapuram districts to assist affected residents.

The adverse weather conditions have also caused widespread damage to roads and agriculture, with reports of blocked highways, flooded regions, and financial losses in the agricultural sector. The incessant rains have inundated low-lying areas of Kochi city, like the KSRTC bus stand and MG Road. The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) reported seven rain-related fatalities between May 19 and 23, along with partial and complete damage to numerous houses.

Thrissur town witnessed severe waterlogging, leading to flooding of shops and private hospitals. The district administration has instructed authorities to expedite drain desilting within seven days. Flight operations at Kozhikode International Airport experienced delays due to heavy rains.

In Idukki district, authorities raised four shutters of the Malankara dam and issued warnings to residents along the Thodupuzha and Muvattupuzha rivers.

File photo: Manorama

To bolster epidemic prevention efforts, a state control room was established in the Health Department Directorate at Thiruvananthapuram in response to the ongoing rainfall.

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