Torrential rains lashed several parts of Kerala as the Met department issued a red alert for Wayanad and Idukki districts, while six other districts—Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakaad, Malappuram, Kannur and Kasargod—were put on orange alert.
IMD has forecast heavy rainfall for the state till Sunday, August 9.
Kerala is among the six states warned of potential floods by the National Water Commission. The state is simultaneously battling spikes in its Covid-19 cases.
With the three deaths due to incidents of drowning, landslides and tree fall since Tuesday night, the toll since the onset of the four-month long southwest monsoon that set in the state on June 1 has risen to 31, officials told the Press Trust of India. Three fishermen are missing in Ernakulam after their boat capsized.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that landslides, flooding, mudslides were a possibility and district authorities have been asked to take all necessary steps, including shifting people living in areas prone to landslides, to safer places. With very heavy rains expected in Idukki, Ernakulam district also could be affected, he said.
Night travel should be avoided in high range areas, he said.
In main dams, the water level has not risen substantially and the discharge was being done in a controlled manner from three reservoirs ― Peringalkuthu, Kallarkutty and Lower Periyar ― under the Kerala State Electricity Board. Water was also being released from some dams under the Irrigation department, Pinarayi said.
Landslides, relief camps
Mathrubhumi reported on Thursday that relief camps had been opened in Malappuram’s Nilambur after the area witnessed a landslide. The water level in Chaliyar river has risen after heavy rainfall along the Malappuram- Wayanad border, the report said.
A temporary bridge collapsed in the district’s Munderi area while Iruttukuthu, Vaniyambuzha, Kumbalappara, Tharippapotti were isolated due to waterlogging, Manorama said.
In North Kerala’s Kannur, water levels were rising in Barapuzha, the report said, after a landslide was reported in Brahmagiri forest.
Mathrubhumi also reported landslides in Kannur’s Mattara forest and Manikkadavu. The Manikkadavu and Mattara bridges in the district are under water, the report said.
The news channel reported that there was risk of Bhavani river causing floods in Palakkad and that people in its vicinity had warned. People in the vicinity of Muvattupuzhayar, Ernakulam’s Kuttampuzha, Kadavoor and Neriamangalam have also been asked to stay on alert.
Four units of the National Disaster Relief Force have reached Kerala, of which one has already been sent to Nilambur.