The southwest monsoon unleashed its fury in the State on Monday with large parts of central and southern Kerala lashed by an intense spell of rain, triggering minor landslips and flashfloods, especially in the high ranges.
Pathanamthitta recorded the highest rainfall of 15 cm in the last 24 hours ending at 8.30 a.m. on Monday, followed by Idukki and Kollam (9 cm each) and Kottyam (8 cm).
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has declared a red alert in seven districts, from Thiruvananthapuram to Idukki, on Tuesday and 11 districts on Wednesday, warning of extreme heavy rainfall (more than 20 cm in 24 hours).
An orange alert has been sounded in four districts, from Thrissur to Kozhikode, on Tuesday, warning of heavy to very heavy rainfall (11.5 to 20 cm in 24 hours). The heavy rain triggered by a cyclonic circulation over Rayalaseema and a north-south trough coupled with a shear zone over south peninsular India will continue for for the next four days, according to the IMD.
Fishermen have been advised to stay away from fishing activities as squally weather has been predicted along the coast of Kerala. In view of the heavy downpour and forecast for extreme rainfall in seven districts, holiday has been declared for education institutions, including professional colleges, in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, and Ernakulam on Tuesday.
Dam shutters opened
Further, a red alert has been issued for the Kallarkutti, Ponmudi, Kundala, Lower Periyar and Erattayar reservoirs in Idukki and Poringalkuthu in Thrissur in view of rising water levels in the dams.
Four shutters of the Peppara dam were raised by 215 cm on Monday. The shutters of the Aruvikkara dam in Thiruvananthapuram and Moozhiyar dam in Pathnamthitta were raised by 140 cm and 30 cm respectively.
A special control room has been opened by the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) in view of the rain.
Apart from the existing National Disaster Response Force teams in various locations, four teams would be deployed in Ernakulam, Kottayam, Kollam and Malappuram. All taluk and district-level emergency operation centres were put on high alert round the clock. The Revenue department has directed the District Collectors in rain-hit districts to arrange boats to face emergency situations.