Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Kerala rains: Red alert in 10 districts, 6 deaths

A red alert was declared by the IMD in 10 districts of Kerala where incessant rains on Tuesday caused six deaths, landslides, rise in water levels and relocation of thousands to relief camps in various parts of the state.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a red alert in all the districts of the state barring Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Kasaragod, for August 2 and 3 and has predicted heavy rainfall in the state till August 5.
The heavy rains led to six deaths — one each in Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam and Ernakulam districts and three in Kannur district — resulting in a total of 12 rain-related casualties in the state from July 31 till date, the Kerala State Emergency Operations Center (KSEOC) said.
Besides that, three people have also gone missing from various parts of the state during the day, it said.
In view of the heavy rainfall and anticipating landslides, flash floods and other disasters, the state government opened 95 relief camps across Kerala where 2,291 people have been relocated, KSEOC said.
The heavy rainfall also damaged 126 houses between July 31 till date and of those 27 homes were completely destroyed, it said.
In view of the red alerts issued by the IMD and the possibility of extremely heavy rainfall in the state in the next few days, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the warning of very heavy rains in the state in the days ahead should be taken very seriously as continuous rainfall of more than 200 mm is likely to create a crisis.
There is a need for vigilance and preparedness in the state in anticipation of natural disasters like landslides, mountain floods, flash floods, and waterlogging in cities and low-lying areas, the CM said in a Facebook post.
Vijayan also said that the Central Water Commission has issued a warning regarding the water levels of various rivers, like Pampa, Manimala and Neyyar, crossing the danger marks at several places.
He said the commission has also warned that water levels of rivers like Achankovil, Kaliyar, Thodupuzha and Meenachil are on the rise and therefore, people living on the banks of all these rivers should be cautious and steps are being taken to relocate them to safer locations.
He has requested everyone not to be reluctant to relocate and to follow the instructions of the authorities.
The CM also directed that the camps should adhere to COVID-19 norms and there should be special facilities for pregnant women, lactating mothers and persons with special needs.
Besides that, nine NDRF teams have been deployed in the state apart from the two units of the Defence Security Corps stationed in Kannur and Palakkad districts and one column of the Army in Thiruvananthapuram district, he said.
As there is a possibility of strong winds along with rain, steps should be taken on a war footing to secure electric lines, posts, trees and hoardings to avoid accidents due to their collapse, he said and added that earthmovers and other machinery should be kept ready in advance in disaster-prone areas to deal with landslides and flash floods in hilly areas.


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