Thiruvananthapuram: Incessant heavy rainfall across Kerala since the night of July 4 led to the death of one person and brought life to a standstill in several areas as roads got flooded, water levels rose in rivers and dams, homes got damaged by uprooted trees. As the heavy rains continued on Wednesday also, Orange alert was sounded in 12 of the 14 districts of the state for the day, meanwhile weather agency India Meteorological Department issued red alert for Idukki, Kasaragod, and Kannur.
Schools Shut in Kerala
As a precautionary measure, the educational institutions in six districts have been closed. The districts include Ernakulam, Kannur, Idukki, Thrissur, Kottayam and Kasargod.
The Kasargod collector has announced a holiday for schools only, while in Pathanamthitta district schools have been temporarily converted into functioning as relief camps have been closed.
Damage caused by widespread rain
However, the heavy rainfall since Tuesday night caused widespread damage in the state and led to the loss of a life when an autorickshaw overturned into a stream swollen with rainwater in Pathanamthitta district and the victim could not escape from underneath the vehicle.
Another person, a 68-year-old man, was swept away in an overflowing river in Thamarassery taluk of Kozhikode district on Tuesday and the fire force and other rescue personnel are yet to find him.
The rains also caused damage to homes in various parts of the state leading to people being displaced and relocated to relief camps.
In Kannur, a 30-meter section of a security wall of the central jail there collapsed early this morning.
Water level in several dams rise
As the levels rose in various rivers in the state, it led to a rise in water in several dams and prompted authorities to open their shutters in stages to release water downstream.
In Idukki, a few shutters of the Kallarkutty and Pambla dams were opened from 12.30 AM onwards to release 300 cumecs and 500 cumecs of water, respectively, after the water in the two dams reached the Red alert levels.
District administration advises those along the shores to be cautious
The district administration advised those living on the shores of the Periyar and Muthirapuzha rivers to be cautious and be ready to relocate to relief camps in case of the water entering their homes.
All shutters of the Kavanakkallu Regulator-cum-Bridge (RCB) across the river Chaliyar in Malappuram district were also opened.
Shutters of Karikkayam and Ullunkal dams across river Kakkad and Maniyar dam on the Kakkattar river in Pathanamthitta district were also opened this morning to release several hundred cumecs of water.
High-level meeting held to review situation
On Tuesday, in view of heavy rains continuing in the state, a high level meeting of revenue officials, including district collectors, was held to review the situation.
Subsequently, in a Facebook post, Revenue Minister K Rajan urged people to be very careful but said there was no need to panic.
As heavy rains lashed the southern state on Monday, leading to the death of a girl, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan advised people to be vigilant and avoid getting close to rivers, travel to hilly areas, and trips to the beach.
A red alert indicates heavy to extremely heavy rains of over 20 cm in 24 hours, while an orange alert means very heavy rains of 6 cm to 20 cm of rain.