Rains wreak havoc in Kerala, red alert in five districts
Scores of houses were damaged, trees uprooted and power supply disrupted for hours across Kerala as incessant rains and strong winds continue to lash the state on Saturday even as severe sea incursion disrupted normal life in coastal areas. According to the latest update by the Indian Meteorological Department, a red alert, indicating the possibility of extremely heavy rains, was sounded in five districts.
Wind speeds expected to reach 40 kmph in some places
The red alert, indicating the possibility of heavy rains was sounded in the five northern districts of Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur, and Kasaragod. "Thunderstorm with moderate rainfall as well as gusty wind speeds reaching 40 kmph, is likely at one or two places in Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur, and Kasaragod districts," it further added.
People living on the banks of major rivers cautioned
High range and coastal areas in central and northern districts bore brunt of nature's fury in the last 24 hours. As the water level in major rivers like Meenachil, Achankovil and Manimala was rising steadily, authorities cautioned people living on its banks to be vigilant.
Trees uprooted and fell upon houses and vehicles
The shutters of the Kallarkutty, Malankara, and Bhoothathankettu dams in hill district Idukki were opened and that of the Maniyar in Pathanamthitta was raised as a form of precautionary measure following high inflow in the catchment area. Trees were widely uprooted and fell upon the houses and vehicles, causing rampant destruction across the state of Kerala.
Movement on Munnar-Vattavada road in Idukki was disrupted
Uprooted trees also caused traffic blocks in several places while the movement on Munnar-Vattavada road in Idukki was disrupted for some time. "NDRF personnel were trying to remove trees and clear the paths," authorities said. Heavy rains and gusty winds, accompanied by extensive sea incursion, continued to cause widespread destruction in the coastal hamlets of Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur, and Malappuram districts.
Entrance to the Valiyathura bridge blocked due to safety concerns
Valiyathura pier, one of the oldest sea bridges in the state located in Thiruvananthapuram, developed a crack as strong winds have been hitting the shores since last night. "A portion of the over 200 meter-long structure seemed tilted to a side in the morning," locals said. The entrance of the bridge was blocked and placed under police security considering the safety of people.
Other places facing the brunt of weather
Besides Chellanam in Ernakulam district, rough sea and high tidal waves wreaked havoc in Kaipamangalam, Chavakkad, and Kodungallur in Thrissur, Pallithura in Thiruvananthapuram, Thrikkannapuzha in Alappuzha and Beypore and Koyilandy in Kozhikode districts.
People have been shifted to relief camps in many districts
Initial reports said hundreds of houses were damaged in coastal belts across the state as seawater seeped in following high waves. A large number of people were shifted to relief camps in various districts, arranged in adherence to COVID-19 protocols. Meanwhile, the Indian Coast Guard Ship Vikram rescued three fishermen from a small fishing boat off northern Kannur district on Friday night.