The southwest monsoon, which broke into the Indian peninsula on May 29 through the Kerala gateway, has triggered havoc on lives, property and crops in its first lap. In tune with weather predictions, the state government has issued high alert on rain-related disasters till July 17. Downpour-induced landslides are on and the monsoon fury has claimed 77 lives, according to chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea over the Southwest, Central and North Arabian Sea due to strong winds and high waves.
Around 7,751 hectare of agricultural land have been hit hard, says a social media post by Vijayan. Rain has completely devastated 283 dwellings, of which 7,213 dwellings have been partially destroyed. About 180 relief camps have been set up, accommodating 30,549 people. The government has allocated around Rs 7 crore to district collectors for relief operations.
According to the season’s rainfall data issued by the Met Centre here, Kerala as a whole, received 986.1 mm of rainfall from June 1 to July 11 against a normal of 942.7 mm. Monsoon rains have fanned out over coastal Karnataka, south interior Karnataka, Telangana, Kerala and Lakshadweep, coastal Andhra Pradesh, and at a few pockets in Tamil Nadu.
The Attappady tribal belt in Palakkad was cut off from towns, after heavy downpour lashed landslips and floods along the connecting roads. Traffic on the Mannarkkad-Coimbatore highway was halted following a series of landslips and fallen trees in the ghat section.
In Kozhikode, Idukky and Wayanad, State Disaster Management Authority has identified and tagged high hazard zones, which tourists will be warned to avoid during rainy days. “Owners of all quarry mines in Wayanad have been told to halt operations to avert landslides,” says a senior official in State Disaster Management Authority.