Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who convened an emergency meeting with KSDMA officials on Wednesday, said there is the possibility of a deluge or cyclonic storm with extremely heavy rain (over 20cm) on Sunday in these districts.
“Emergency measures will be in place on a war-footing to minimize the risks involved due to extremely heavy rain, rough sea and strong winds. The low-pressure area over the southeast Arabian Sea will intensify into a depression, the effects of which could lead to sea erosion and flash floods. Fishermen should be advised not to venture into the sea,” he said.
“We have sought the support of five National Disaster Response Force teams. Till fresh instructions are given, tourists are advised not to visit hilly areas such as Munnar in the wake of Kurinji bloom from Friday,” said Vijayan. KSDMA executive committee will meet on Thursday to take stock of dam levels and implement preventive steps. Earlier today, state emergency operations centre (SEOC) scientists had warned that a low-pressure area is likely to form over the southeast Arabian Sea and adjoining Lakshadweep on Saturday.
SEOC head scientist Sekhar Kuriakose said that the low-pressure is likely to intensify into a depression and move in a northwest direction in the subsequent 48 hours.
Such a phenomenon can cause sea erosion, triggering floods and landslides, warned scientists as they issued an advisory in all districts. Till Saturday, most districts in Kerala will be on yellow alert, the first level of disaster alert.
KSDMA, IMD, and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services have already informed fishermen not to go fishing from Saturday. They asked fishermen at sea in southeast area and the central Arabian Sea to return home before Friday. “Heavy rain (7-11 cm) has been forecast in parts of Kerala till Thursday and very heavy rain (12-20cm) in some parts of the state till Saturday. Then, extremely heavy rain (over 20cm) has been forecast in parts of the state,” said IMD director K Santosh. Over the past 24 hours, Chalakudy reported isolated heavy rain of 7cm in the state.
Train services affected
Rail traffic between Thrissur and Ernakulam was disrupted on Wednesday noon following soil erosion at Chalakudy bridge. Railway officials clarified that they had deposited gunny bags – containing crushed rocks – along with the track after the soil erosion during recent floods. Some of those bags were washed away in the rain on Tuesday and Wednesday.
One train was operated on the track in the evening at regulated speed after taking precautions. Officials said several express and passenger trains are being operated on the bridge at regulated speed. However, goods trains are not permitted to use the bridge.
Meanwhile, the shutters of the Peechi dam were opened partially on Wednesday afternoon following the heavy rain alert. According to the district disaster management officials, four shutters of the dam were raised by one inch each.
Chalakkudy municipality chairperson Jayanthi Praveen said that the heavy rains and strong winds on Tuesday had caused a loss of Rs 5 crore in the municipal area. About 10 houses collapsed in the wind, while the roofs of several houses and offices flew off.
“To control the water-level in Mattuppetty reservoir, two shutters of the Mattuppetty dam will be opened on Thursday at 8 am,” said Idukki district collector K Jeevan Babu. “About 25 cubic meter per second water will release from the dam.”