Heavy rain expected to ease in Kerala today, yellow alert in 7 districts

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala is grappling with the aftermath of heavy pre-monsoon rains, which have resulted in the loss of 13 lives across the state since May 19. Two more rain-related casualties were reported from State on Saturday. As per reports from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the intense downpour is expected to ease off on Saturday, with a yellow alert issued for seven districts including Thiruvanathapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Kannur, Kozhikode and Kasaragod.

Due to the weakening of the cyclonic circulation over the Arabian Sea only light to moderate rainfall is expected throughout the state. The IMD forecasts heavy to very heavy rainfall (7cm to 20cm in 24 hours) on May 24 and heavy rainfall from May 25 to 27 at isolated places. Thunderstorms accompanied by lightning and gusty winds reaching speeds of 30-40 Kmph are also anticipated from May 24 to 26 in certain areas of Kerala and Lakshadweep. Fishermen have been cautioned against venturing into the sea during this period.
The shutters of Kallarkutty and Pambla dam in Idukki will be raised on Saturday.

Impact and Response
On Saturday, a four-member team of tourists from Hyderabad had a narrow escape after their car fell into a canal in Kottayam's Kurappanthara.

At Kaikulangara in Kollam district, a family of four had a narrow escape as the tiled roof of their house collapsed due to heavy showers. Residents of the house escaped with minor injuries and were taken to a nearby hospital, police said.

Another house in Kannettumukku here was completely damaged following downpour. However, the elderly woman living in it said she had a miraculous escape as she ran out to the courtyard hearing a sound in the night.

Many roads were battered and houses damaged in the coastal village of Pozhiyur, which witnessed intense sea incursion on Friday evening.

According to the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority, 15 houses have fully collapsed while 218 others have suffered partial damage due to the incessant rains. State Revenue Minister K Rajan, in a media briefing, revealed that certain regions received over 200 mm of rain in the past 24 hours, with tragic consequences. "Six individuals drowned, two fell into water-filled quarries, two were struck by lightning, and one person lost their life in a wall collapse," he stated. Kunnamangalam in Kozhikode district recorded 22.62 cm of rainfall, while Cherthala in Alappuzha, Kumarakom in Kottayam, and Thamarassery in Kozhikode received over 20 cm each.

Rajan emphasized the need for preparedness to tackle the repercussions of such heavy rainfall, highlighting the readiness of local authorities, the fire department, police, and revenue officials. He informed that two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams are currently deployed in the state.

The heavy rains have caused flooding in parts of Kochi and Aluva, with reports of uprooted trees, road damage, and minor landslides from various areas. Currently, 223 individuals are taking shelter in eight relief camps set up across the state in districts including Kozhikode, Malappuram, Ernakulam, and Thiruvananthapuram.

Court Directive for Flood Mitigation
Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court has directed the clearing of drains in flood-prone areas of Kochi to mitigate future flooding incidents, emphasizing the imperative nature of the task. The high-powered committee appointed by the court has been instructed to ensure the completion of drain cleaning and debris removal before the next hearing scheduled for May 27.
(With PTI inputs.)

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