In wake of the Ockhi cyclone warning issued by authorities, Kerala’s southern districts are now on a high alert. Mathrubhumi News has already reported the deaths of three people in Kanyakumari district even as IMD issued a cyclone warning for the popular tourist destination, Lakshadweep islands. Schools have declared holidays in several parts of the state including Kollam and two trains have been canceled. According to Manorama News, the speed of the cyclone is pegged at 75 km/hour and is likely to cause damage in the state’s southern districts such as Kanyakumari, Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam. An alert for Sabarimala pilgrims has been sounded, directing that no travel is permissible to the shrine from evening 6 pm till next morning 7 am.
Another special alert has also been triggered in areas such as Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Idukki, Kottayam and Pattanamthitta. Pilgrims are advised not to bathe in rivers or ponds in the Sabarimala area and those who are around Pamba and Sannidhanam are expected to comply with the directions of the authorities and stay there if asked to.
For tourists who are traveling in the state, no boating, trekking or adventure sports will be allowed till the district administration gives a go-ahead. Further, the concerned authorities are expected to stock up medicines and essential supplies to help out the tourists in case of any unforeseen emergency.
As per general guidelines, fishermen have been advised to stay away from venturing into coastal areas, given that the sea conditions are likely to be high on the South Kerala coast across the next 48 hours. People have also been advised to stay indoors, keep their mobile phones charged and stay away from ponds, rivers, trees, open spaces, poles under electric lines, stock up their regular supply of medicines and switch off power and gas cylinders.