Tourism activities temporarily banned in Kerala's coastal areas: Precautions to take

Avoid heading to beaches or activities in open waters while the administration's warnings are on. Photo: iStock/Wirestock

Due to the rough seas experienced in many coastal areas of Kerala, beach tourism activities have been halted in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha and Thrissur districts. The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), a central government agency that issues weather warnings for fishermen in the country, has found that as a result of the low-pressure system moving into the Indian Ocean, very high waves -- which reached 11 meters at some places -- were created and reached the Kerala coast.

The waves, known as the 'swell surge' or 'kallakkadal' (as it is locally known), are likely to continue on the eastern coast of India (Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal) and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The term 'kallakkadal' literally means a sea which comes suddenly like a thief. The waves are expected to continue tonight on Kerala coasts and probably in the following days as well.

Here are the precautions that tourists should take to ensure safety: 
1) Avoid heading to beaches or activities in open waters while the administration's warnings are on. The swell surges can cause strong currents that flow from shores to deeper waters. If required, collaborate with your tourism operator to reschedule your trip or change your destinations, bookings and itineraries. 

2) The swell surges have also damaged roads in many parts of the Kerala coastal areas. Therefore, check with your tourism operators and authorities before embarking on road trips. If you can't avoid coastal roads, proceed with caution and pay heed to alerts by local authorities and people. 
3) Check weather forecasts following credible news sources like local TV channels, the Kerala State Disaster Management website, the India Meteorological Department's website and your tourism operators, to plan a safe trip. 

4) Do not resort to collecting fish or marine resources left behind by the sea as they can have many environmental pollutants and can pose health risks. 
5) Keep emergency contacts for both local and foreign tourists ready. The contact number of the Tourist Police is 112 and the ambulance service is 108. The Kerala Tourism Helpline number is 1800 425 4747 (toll-free within India) or +91 471 2321132 (international). The email address is A 24/7 WhatsApp chatbot called 'Maya' also provides tourists with updates. Send a 'hi' message to the WhatsApp number 7510512345, or scan the provided QR code to communicate with Maya. 

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.