Kerala rain: 5 dead, schools to remain shut in Kannur, Kasaragod and Malappuram

Even though the intensity of rains has reduced, coastal areas of the state continue to bore the brunt of the rough sea.

Thiruvananthapuram: Five people have died on Monday and over 300 have been shifted to relief camps even as heavy rains are expected to continue till Thursday in Kerala.  

All the five deaths were due to drowning.

A Red alert (very heavy rains) has been sounded in Kasaragod and Kannur districts on Tuesday.

In Kannur, 22-year-old Rithul drowned when he slipped and fell into a pond at Payyanuur, while two deaths were reported in Kozhikode and one from Kasaragod.

In Thrissur, 19-year-old Vishnu drowned in a river while having a bath at Mukundapuram taluk.

With the South West Monsoon gaining strength in the state since July 18, 10 deaths have been reported so far, Kerala State Disaster Management sources said.

Since the monsoon hit Kerala on June 8 after a week's delay, 20 rain related deaths have been reported from the southern state.

Two fishermen from Tamil Nadu, who had put out to sea from Needakara in Kollam, are still missing, while the body of one of their colleague was washed ashore on Sunday.

Two others in their boat had managed to swim to safety.

So far, 11 houses have been fully damaged and 102 partially in the state.

Twenty seven relief camps have been opened in the state, in which 348 persons have taken shelter.

Holiday declared

A holiday has been declared on Tuesday for all educational institutions, including professional colleges, in Kannur, Kasaragod and Malappuram districts. In Kuttanad taluk of Alappuzha, holiday has been declared for all educational institutions except professional colleges. In Kottayam, all educational institutions except St Joseph's High School, Ayarkunnam, which are functioning as relief camps will continue to remain shut.

University exams scheduled for Tuesday will not be postponed.

The Met office said strong winds from the Westerly direction with speeds reaching 40-50 kmph was likely along and off the Kerala coast.

The sea condition would be rough to very rough, it said

The Kerala government has asked tourists to stay away from Shankumugham Beach in state capital Thiruvananthapuram, citing danger.

The IMD has also cautioned fishermen from venturing into the sea.

The Central Water Commission website said water in Periyar, Pamba and Chaliyar rivers in the state is rising.

In Arratupuzha, relief camps have been opened to accommodate the families, who were shifted there after sea water entered their houses.

Kerala had the worst deluge in years in 2018. With homes destroyed and thousands displaced, the state is still reeling under the shock of the disaster.

Precautions to be taken by locals

Residents of areas where the alerts have been sounded and those living in places where flooding had occurred last year should keep an emergency kit containing all important documents and other valuables ready. They have to be ready to relocate to safe places as directed by the officials in case of an extreme situation. Click here for the areas where flooding is likely.

The emergency kit has to be kept ready also by residents of landslip-prone areas. They include people living in areas where landslides occurred in 2018 or cited as uninhabitable by the Geological Survey of India. This alert is applicable also to people who lost houses in landslides and are now living in incomplete houses or whose dwellings are yet to be repaired. They should be ready to move to safe camps and the government has issued instructions to open such facilities. Click this link to see landslide prone areas.

Emergency kit

Important documents, certificates, jewellery and other valuables should be placed inside a plastic bag, which has to be kept at an easily accessible spot. This spot should ideally be at a high level from the ground. All residents, including women and children, have to be informed about the emergency kit and made aware that they may have to shift to a safe place if weather deteriorates.

Common instructions

• Avoid travelling in landslip-prone areas in the hills between 7pm and 7am.

• Do not park vehicles near streams in hilly areas as flash floods can occur.

• Avoid picnics to hill regions and to the beach.

• Never spread rumours through social media.

• Desist from clicking selfies on bridges and river banks

• Never step into rivers and canals as the water level could go up suddenly. Do not bathe or wash clothes in these water bodies. Ensure that minors also do not engage in these tasks.

• Inform all family members of the official instructions. Tell everybody that they should not wait for others in case an evacuation order has been given.

• Listen to weather warnings on television and radio. The Akashavani radio is available at:

1) Trivandrum MW (AM channel) 1161 kHz

2) Alappuzha MW (AM channel) 576 kHz

3) Thrissur MW (AM channel) 630 kHz

4) Calicut MW (AM channel) 684 kHz

• Shift to a nearby camp if necessary. Contact the local authorities in each village without hesitation.

• Switch off power main switch if water enters the house.

• The District Emergency Operations centre number is 1077. If calling from outside district, add STD code.

• Keep the contact number of panchayat authorities.

• If there are children, elderly, differently abled, sick or bedridden people in the house, shift them first. Also inform the Social Welfare Department officials in the area of their presence.

• Keep electrical appliances at a place where flooding may not occur.

• Shift pets to safe areas or free them. They can swim.

• Park vehicles in elevated areas.

• People living in low-lying apartments may avoid parking cars in cellars.

• Engage in rescue missions only if you have received training. Others can help the rescuers.

• Never panic. If everyone remains calm and united, any situation can be tackled.

Detailed instructions regarding the measures to be adopted by each government department are given in a handbook prepared by the disaster management authority. Click here for the handbook

Directives regarding rain are included in Chapter 2 while precautionary measures are listed in Chapters 6 and 7.

(With inputs from PTI)