Heavy rain continued to batter north Kerala and parts of high range areas of the State as monsoon intensified across the State. Four persons died in rain-related incidents in north Kerala districts on Saturday. According to sources, two deaths were in Kozhikode and one each in Wayanad and Kasaragod.
Whirlwinds caused destruction in Thrissur district for the third consecutive day on Saturday. Widespread damage has been reported in a whirlwind that lashed the coastal belt near Chavakkad on Saturday afternoon. The wind, that lasted less than a minute, damaged houses and uprooted trees at Thiruvathra, Puthiyara and Kottappuram areas. Roof sheets were blown away. Traffic on the national highway was disrupted as trees fell onto the road. Power supply was disrupted in many places. No casualties have been reported.
The Padinjarathara dam in Wayanad recorded the highest rainfall of 16.1 cm rain the last 24 hours, ending at 8.30 a.m. on Saturday, followed by Ayyankunnu in Kannur (14.2 cm) and Ottappalam in Palakkad (13.6 cm).
A well marked low pressure area over the Northeast Arabian sea off the Saurashtra Coast has now turned into a depression - a system which brings in heavy rainfall. The system is likely to move gradually north-northwestwards during the next 24 hours. Thereafter, it is likely to move nearly westwards towards Oman coast across the northwest Arabian Sea during the subsequent 48 hours, said a weather bulletin issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Saturday.
Yellow, red alerts
It is expected that there will be no major adverse impact of this system on rainfall over the State other than isolated heavy showers. Under the influence of the system coupled with another low pressure over northwest Bay of Bengal off the north Odisha-West Bengal coast, the State is likely to experience isolated heavy rains for the next four days. A yellow alert has been sounded in five districts -Idukki, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Kannur and Kasaragod - on Sunday warning of rains (6.4 cm to 11.5 cm), according to the bulletin.
Shutters of 11 dams opened
A red alert has been sounded in Lower Periyar, Kallarkutty, Erattayar, and Ponmudi reservoirs in Idukki, Kuttiyadi in Kozhikode, while an orange alert is issued in Poringalkuthu reservoir in Thrissur, Mennkara and Mangalam dams in Palakkad where the surplus water was released in a controlled manner. Further, shutters have been opened at 11 more dams in the State. Tamil Nadu also issued the first warning to Kerala on Saturday with the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam reaching 13.5 ft. Water will be released from the reservoir when the water level reaches the upper rule curve.
Revenue Minister K. Rajan on Saturday visited the areas in Thrissur district where whirlwinds caused havoc on Friday. He said the State is prepared to face any challenge during the monsoon. Considering the strong rain, disaster management teams have been kept ready in Kozhikode, Wayanad, Idukki and Malappuram districts, he said.
(With inputs from Thrissur, Kozhikode bureaus)