Heavy rainfall in Kerala, IMD issues Orange alert for three districts

Thiruvananthapuram, May 24 (PTI) Heavy rains continue to lash Kerala with parts of the state receiving over 200 mm of rain in the last 24 hours and places in major cities including Kochi and Thrissur remaining waterlogged on Friday.

As the southern state reels under the impact of heavy pre-monsoon rains, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) today issued an Orange alert for three districts.

An Orange alert has been issued for Pathanamthitta, Kottayam and Idukki districts.

A red alert indicates heavy to extremely heavy rain of over 20 cm in 24 hours, while an orange alert denotes very heavy rainfall of 11 cm to 20 cm, and a yellow alert means heavy rainfall between 6 cm and 11 cm.

State Revenue Minister K Rajan, who met the media today said parts of the state received over 20 cm of rain in the last 24 hours.

Kunnamangalam in Kozhikode district received 226.2 mm of rain in the last 24 hours, he added.

He said while Cherthala in Alappuzha district received 215 mm rain, Kumarakom in Kottayam district and Thamarassery in Kozhikode district received 203 mm and 200.7 mm rain respectively in the last 24 hours.

“Such heavy rainfall in a short span of time will lead to various incidents and we need to arrange facilities accordingly,” Rajan said.

He said the local authorities, Fire force, the police and Revenue department were ready to face any untoward incidents. The minister also said two teams of the NDRF were currently in the state.

Rajan said a total of 11 people have lost their lives in the state in various recent rain-related incidents.

“Six of them lost their lives in various drowning incidents, two fell into water-filled quarries, two were struck by lightning and one person lost his life in a wall collapse,” Rajan added.

Meanwhile, parts of Kochi city were inundated following heavy rains last night. TV channels showed the visuals of major roads in the city flooded and pedestrians and motorists finding it difficult to commute.

Similar was the situation in the nearby Aluva town where the market was waterlogged.

Most of the shops remained shut and some of the adjacent roads were closed.

Local people have alleged that the Aluva Municipality failed to clean the drainage resulting in the heavy waterlogging.

A huge tree near the district hospital in Thrissur town was uprooted in the incessant rain last night leading to a road block.

Similar reports of trees being uprooted, road damage and minor landslides were reported from various parts of the state.

Currently, 223 people have been accommodated in eight relief camps functioning across the state.

The relief camps were opened in Kozhikode, Malappuram, Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram districts in view of the heavy rains.

In wake of the incessant rains, a state control room was set up in the Health Department Directorate at Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday as part of efforts to strengthen epidemic prevention activities.