Heavy rain alert in Kerala: What should tourists be careful of?

If heavy rains are predicted in your chosen destination, the authorities will likely close it down till weather conditions improve. Representative image/iStock/t-lorien

The Southwest monsoon is expected to set in over Kerala on May 31 this year and already, the state has started experiencing heavy rainfalls in most districts. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) recently issued a warning predicting heavy rainfall in isolated areas until Tuesday. Strong winds are also anticipated on various days and the disaster management authority has advised against venturing into the sea until further notice. In such a scenario, what should tourists in the state be careful of? 
While Kerala also has many 'pluviophile' travellers, who visit the state purely to enjoy its monsoon tourism season, all tourists can benefit from the following pointers:

1) If heavy rains are predicted in your chosen destination, it is likely that the authorities will close it down till weather conditions improve. Therefore, avoid impromptu trips. Before planning or even leaving your hotels or homestays, inquire whether the spot will stay open for tourists for the day. Keep phone numbers of local tourist authorities, police and your tour operators handy and keep checking the local news.
2) Avoid driving on your own if there is an option. In many places, roads can become slippery, and prone to flash floods or landslides during heavy rains. It's better to hire local drivers who are aware of safe alternate routes and have experience in driving on the local turfs when you travel this season.

3) Take necessary health precautions as insect-borne, food and water-borne diseases can be prevalent this season. Make sure you are dining in hygienic conditions. Do not venture into muddy waters or stagnant rivers, ponds, etc to avoid health hazards. Drink only bottled or boiled water, and avoid raw and undercooked items. 
4) Ensure you are prepared for an emergency. Keep essential medicines, strong umbrellas, raincoats, flashlights, first aid kit, fully charged mobile phones, power backup devices and chargers ready. Wear clothes that are easy to manage during heavy rains and winds, yet keep you warm. 

5) Be ready for itinerary changes and plan flexibly as inclement weather can force you to even stay indoors, at times. Ensuring lightweight luggage, which still has essentials like waterproof clothing and footwear, would go a long way in travelling worry-free. 
6) Carry waterproof cases which will let you handle your devices without getting them wet. If possible, travel with water-resistant gadgets only, especially if most of your travel plans for the day are outdoors.

Kerala's weather update for upcoming days
An orange alert has also been issued for Palakkad and Malappuram districts on Saturday (May 18) and Idukki, Pathanamthitta, and Alappuzha on Sunday (May 19). Additionally, an orange alert has been declared for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, and Idukki districts on May 20  and May 21. These areas are expected to experience rainfall akin to red alert levels, ranging from 115.6 mm to 204.4 mm per hour. Furthermore, strong winds of 30 to 40 km per hour are anticipated on May 19 and 20. A yellow alert was issued on Saturday for the Idukki, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kozhikode, and Wayanad districts. The State Disaster Management Authority advises against venturing into the sea from the Kerala coast until further notice due to expected adverse weather conditions.

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.