Kerala rain: IMD issues red alert in 3 districts; Idukki reservoir water level rises
A red alert was issued in the districts of Kottayam, Idukki, and Ernakulam for the day, and an orange alert in the remaining districts except for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, and Kasargod.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a red alert in three districts of Kerala and an orange alert in eight others on Wednesday as heavy rains continued to pound across the state.
According to an IMD district rainfall forecast issued for Kerala at 10 am, a red alert was issued in the districts of Kottayam, Idukki, and Ernakulam for the day, and an orange alert in the remaining districts except for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, and Kasargod.
On Tuesday, the IMD issued a Red alert for August 3 in ten districts across the state.
On Wednesday, the Met Department issued a Red alert in four districts and an Orange alert in eight for August 4.
Meteorological Department, the National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting, the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts predicted heavy rain in several districts of Kerala during the day.
A red alert indicates heavy to extremely heavy rains of more than 20 cm in 24 hours, whereas an orange alert indicates very heavy rains ranging from 6 cm to 20 cm. A yellow alert indicates heavy rainfall between 6 to 11 cm.
Meanwhile, the state government announced that 166 relief camps had been set up across the state, with 4,639 people relocated from disaster-affected or disaster-prone areas.
Earlier in the day, state Revenue Minister K Rajan urged people to avoid visiting inundated or flooded areas as part of a growing trend of 'flood tourism', and that police would be used to remove such people.
While talking to the media at Pathanamthitta, the minister stated that there is a growing trend among people to visit flooded areas and try to enter the waters or catch fish, which should be avoided because it adds to the burden on authorities carrying out relief and rescue operations.
To elaborate on his statemnet, he used the example of an elephant being stranded for hours in the Chalakudy river on Tuesday morning, resulting in many people arriving and causing a problem for local authorities.
"Such activities in flooded areas would be strictly prohibited, and if necessary, police assistance would be sought to remove such individuals," he said.
On evacuating people from disaster-prone areas, he stated that according to the Orange Book guidelines, people must be relocated.
Rajan stated that the state government had taken all necessary steps, such as establishing relief camps, to ensure that no lives were lost and that people could wait out the rains comfortably.
The minister also stated that there was no need to be concerned about the state's flood-prone, low-lying Kuttanad region but that authorities were keeping an eye on the situation.
According to data from various districts, water levels in major dams and reservoirs were holding steady or had risen only marginally as the intensity of rains in certain parts of the state decreased in the early morning hours on Wednesday.
However, the water storage level in the Idukki reservoir reached 2375.52 feet at 10 am, prompting a blue alert.
Heavy rains caused six deaths, one in each of Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, and Ernakulam districts, and three in Kannur, for 12 rain-related casualties in the state from July 31 to August 2, according to the Kerala State Emergency Operations Center (KSEOC).
In addition, three people have gone missing from various parts of the state during the day, the report added.
(With inputs from PTI)