The Kerala government on Tuesday declared Red Alert in six districts — Idukki, Malappuram, Wayanad, Kannur, Ernakulam and Thrissur — following heavy to extreme rainfalls prediction by IMD. Informing about the move, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a Facebook post said that the state has sounded ‘Red’ and ‘Orange’ alerts in various districts of Kerala. The alerts have been issued for two days — July 18 and 19.
The districts where Red Alert has been declared are expected to receive extremely heavy rainfall of more than 204 mm in 24 hours. The orange alert has been sounded in Idukki on July 17, Kottayam on July 18, Ernakulam and Palakkad on July 19, Palakkad, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur on July 20.
Cautioning the people of the state, the chief minister said that the extreme rainfall during successive days can increase the risk of natural disasters such as floods and eruptions. “The public should exercise caution in case of rain,” he added.
The state officials have been asked to open control rooms at the taluk level. The fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea as strong winds from the westerly direction are likely along and off the Kerala and Lakshadweep coasts. Kerala is taking all precautions to minimize the possible loss due to extreme rainfall.
Last year in August, the Southern state was struck with the worst flood in nearly a century. It received heavy rainfall which was about 116 per cent more than the usual rainfall in Kerala. The heavy rainfall caused over 450 deaths, 140 went missing and lakhs were rendered homeless. As many as 43 people died in Idukki district alone. The total damage was estimated at over USD 505 billion.
The worst affected districts were Aranmula, Ayiroor, Aluva, Pandalam, Chengannur, Pandanad, Edanad, Kozhencherry, Ranni, Kuttanad, Malappuram, Chalakudy, Thrissur, Thiruvalla, Eraviperoor, Vallamkulam, North Paravur, Vypin Island, and Palakkad.