Power outages, traffic diversion at several places

Many trees were uprooted in a rainstorm that lashed the city on Monday afternoon, causing power outages and traffic disruption.

At Vilapilsala, a woman and her son who were travelling on a scooter were knocked down in the squall. The police said the accident occurred when the woman who was riding pillion unfolded her umbrella. No other casualties have been reported.

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), strong monsoon winds at speeds ranging between 45 and 55 km/hr lashed the city for nearly an hour between 3.40 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. The municipality received rainfall of roughly 5.2 mm during the period. The IMD has forecast strong winds and heavy rain on Tuesday and has warned fishermen from putting to sea.

The Fire & Rescue Services Department received over 30 distress calls between 4.10 p.m. and 4.38 p.m. Most of the complaints related to snapped power lines and road obstructions caused by fallen boughs and toppled trees.

At Karamana, a tree came down on a building, causing considerable damage to the structure. Another tree fell on M.C. Road, near Nalanchira. The police redirected traffic at several places.

One caller reported that a tree near the railway track at Melar was in a precarious position and could be uprooted any time. The Fire & Rescue Services pressed its personnel and emergency tenders into action. It deployed Home Guards to assist the firemen. An official said lack of sufficient number of electric-powered saws delayed the department's operations.

Fire men also used axes and machetes to clear fallen trees from roads.

The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) said the windstorm damaged 21 out of the 69 high-power lines supplying electricity to more than 3 lakh consumers in the city.

The Pappanamcode industrial estate, Thiruvananthapuram Engineering College, Poojappura, Kazhakuttom, Manacaud, Thiruvallam and Peroorkada areas were the worst affected. Power supply in Pappanamcode will be restored only on Tuesday afternoon.

The KSEB switched off 18 transformers to prevent accidents. As many as 60 KSEB staff and scores of its contract employees were pressed into service to repair snapped lines.

District Collector Sanjay Kaul said he was monitoring the situation. Disaster management and relief and rescue teams have been put on standby for rapid deployment.

The district administration is prepared to open relief camps, if required.

The police are monitoring the level of the rivers and canals which course through the district.