Kottayam: The state government has drawn up a comprehensive action plan to combat possible rain-related disasters and coordinate rescue operations after heavy showers lashed across the state in the last two days.
All the key departments have been put on alert and are ready to meet any contingency arising out of the situation, officials said.
Holiday on Tuesday
Educational institutions, except professional colleges, in Kuttanad and Karthikappally taluks in Alappuzha district will have holiday on Tuesday, the district collector announced.
Schools and colleges in Kozhikode district will remain shut on Tuesday. There will be holiday for all schools in Thiruvarp, Kumarakom, Aymanam, Veloor, Chengalam south and Arpookkara villages in Kottayam taluk and all educational institutions in Mannarkad taluk in Palakkad district.
The heavy rain were attributed to showers to air cyclonic circulation over Arabian Sea and the prevailing low pressure area over the coasts of Odisha and Karnataka.
Revenue minister R. Chandrasekharan has directed tahsildars of Kozhikode, Wayanad, Palakkad, Kottayam, and Alappuzha to directly supervise the control rooms set up at taluk headquarters. They will be monitored by the Disaster Management additional chief secretary P. H. Kurian.
The tahsildars will be in charge of evacuation measures and accommodation of affected people. The disaster management authority has also been told to provide updates to district collectors regarding the gravity of the weather condition and possible contingency situations each hour.
The KSRTC has been directed to operate more services between Kottayam and Thiruvananthapuram as several trains were canceled following disruption of rail traffic due to landslides on tracks near Kottayam.
Health minister K.K. Shylaja said a special medical team would be sent to Attapadi from where landslides have been reported. Ambulances and other relief measures have also been arranged, she said.
Vehicular traffic through the Vandiperiyar bridge has been banned after water levels at Periyar rose alarmingly. Vehicles coming from Kottayam would be diverted from from Kuttikanam via Kattappana road.
The Meteorological Department and the Disaster Management Authority will review the weather-related information provided by the Doppler Radars at airports in Thiruvananthapuram and Mangalore. The facility at the Kochi airport has been non-functional for the past two days.
• The biggest rainfall since 2013.
• The state received lesser rainfall during the months of August and September.
• Out of the 77 rain gauges in the state, 33 have recorded over 7 cm of rain, which comes under the ‘heavy rainfall’ category.
• After the South-West Monsoon, the estimated rainfall in Kerala till September 17 was 191.81 cm. The state has received 167.81 cm of rainfall so far this year.
• People living in hilly areas have been put on high alert by the authorities. They have been advised to avoid traveling between 6 pm and 6 am
• Flash flood warning has also been issued. Keep children from venturing into water-bodies including quarries and streams.
• Do not attempt to travel across rivers and streams.
• Those who live in areas prone to landslides are requested to shift to safer locations, especially during night time.
• Fishermen have been advised to take the necessary precautions.
• Avoid using electronic devices in flooded areas.
• Restrictions have been imposed on traveling to tourist spots including Ponmudi.
• Travelers have been advised to be alert while venturing into beaches such as Kovalam and Shanghumugham due to the inclement weather conditions.
• Heavy rain has been reported in Bengaluru. As IMD has forecast that thundershowers are likely to occur in Mumbai and Goa on Monday, people have been advised to be vigilant.