Red alert in 5 Kerala districts as rains drench state
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert in as many as five districts of Kerala as heavy rains continued to lash the southern state. Meanwhile, an orange alert has been issued in at least seven other districts, according to the weather department, meaning they will receive "heavy to very heavy" downpour. Here are more updates from Kerala.
The districts which have been placed on red alert are Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, and Thrissur, the IMD said. Seven others, including Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, and Wayanad are currently on orange alert. Two other districts have been put on yellow alert. In fact, the rainfall, accompanied by thunder and lightning, is expected to continue through Saturday night.
Severe water-logging has been reported from various parts of Kerala. At a hospital in Ranni, patients and equipment had to be shifted to another ward after floodwater entered its casualty ward. Kerala Revenue Minister K Rajan has convened a meeting with all district collectors. He said six teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed across the state for rescue operations.
"Under the influence of the low pressure area over Southeast Arabian Sea off Kerala coast, the state is expected to receive isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy falls till the morning of October 17 (Sunday)," the IMD said in a statement. "Isolated heavy rainfall is expected on 18th (Monday) and further reduction in rainfall from 19th morning (Tuesday)," it added.
Fishermen across the state have been advised not to venture into the southeast Arabian Sea, off the Kerala coast, and the Lakshadweep area. "Squally weather with wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting 60 kmph is likely to prevail over Kerala coast. Fishermen are advised not to venture into these sea areas (today and tomorrow)," the weather office said.