Alert levels have been upgraded to ‘red’ in five districts of Kerala with heavy rainfall continuing to lash the State, causing widespread damage. Rivers are in spate in many parts of the State, overflowing their banks and flooding low-lying regions.
Heavy rainfall has been lashing central and southern districts of the State since the early hours of Saturday. By evening, rainfall is likely to intensify in the northern districts also.
Here are the updates
4:28 p.m. | Thiruvananthapuram
Army rushed to flood-hit Kuttickal in Kottayam
The State government has rushed Army and NDRF teams to flood-ravaged Kuttickal panchayat at Plapally in Kottayam district.
Local authorities fear gushing floodwaters to have swept away 16 persons after their houses collapsed.
The Army said 32 personnel led by Major Abin Paul had rushed to Kottayam from the Pangode Military Station. The force is transporting rescue equipment, including rubber dinghies fitted with outboard engines. Indian Air Force has put M-17 and Sarang helicopters on standby for rescue, a press release issued by the defence department.
IAF and Army officials are participating in a video conference chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
4:20 p.m. | Thiruvananthapuram
Red alert extended to six districts
As torrential rain continues to lash Kerala under the influence of a low pressure area over the southeast Arabian Sea, the India Meteorological Department (IMD), in a 4 p.m. weather update, extended the red alert to six districts.
The districts of Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur and Palakkad are on red alert on Saturday, as per the latest weather update.
Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad are on orange alert for isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall. Northern districts Kannur and Kasaragod are on yellow alert today for isolated heavy rainfall.
The Lakshadweep islands also are on yellow alert.
Several districts of Kerala are on yellow alert on Sunday also for isolated heavy rainfall, as per the 4 p.m. update.
3:30 p.m. | Kollam
Houses damaged as rain lashes Kollam
Around 30 houses were damaged in Kollam due to heavy rains and strong winds that lashed across the district during the last 24 hours. Though relief camps have been arranged in all taluks and opened in some, at present there are no inmates.
District Disaster Management Authority has issued an alert as the three shutters of Thenmala dam have been raised by 80 cm. The shutters will be raised further if the water level keeps going up. All the panchayats on the banks of Kallada river have been instructed by the authorities to stay cautious.
3:12 p.m. | Erattupetta
A view of the Erattupetta town from a location near the Nadakkal-Ilappungal bridge, which was destroyed by the flood waters on Saturday.
3:10 p.m. | Sabrimala
Sabrimala devotees asked to avoid holy dip in Pampa river
Sabarimala devotees have been asked to avoid the dip in Pampa River. Though blue alert has been issued for Idukki dam, it was more of a technical decision as the water level is still not at the level warranting it. However, water on account of landslips in forest areas as part of the catchment area may flow in only a day later though no uprooted trees or muddy waters in the rivers have been noticed yet.
3:10 p.m. | Revenue Minister K. Ranjan
No reason for Panic, says Kerala Revenue Minister
There is no need for panic notwithstanding the extremely heavy rainfall across the State, Revenue Minister K. Rajan has said here on Saturday.
Talking to reporters, he said none of the dams, including the six ones already opened, are in danger of spate. He said that the prediction of a deluge is premature at this point. It helped that rain has intensified in regions where it had petered out in the last couple of days, Mr. Rajan said.
3:00 p.m. | Heavy rains in Alappuzha, Kuttanad
Heavy rain lashes Alappuzha, Kuttanad on the edge
Floodwaters have entered a number of houses and inundated parts of the Alappuzha- Changanassery (AC) road. Several rural roads in the taluk have been submerged
The Irrigation Department has opened 35 shutters of the Thottappally spillway to ensure the smooth flow of floodwaters from Kuttanad into the sea.
District Collector A. Alexander has chaired a meeting to review the situation. People living along the banks of rivers have been urged to exercise caution.
As of Saturday afternoon, the district administration has opened 10 relief camps in different parts of the district. Officials said that a total of 111 people of 34 families were shifted to the camps.
KSRTC bus stuck in Poonjar
A KSRTC bus got stuck in the flood water in front of the St. Antony’s church in Poonjar
2:54 p.m. | Police force mobilised
State Police Chief Anil Kanth has mobilised the entire force. He has asked law enforcement to brace for sudden landslides and flooding. They have to be ready to launch relief and rescue operations.
The police have mobilised earthmovers, rescue boats, civil defence and neighbourhood watch members, tower lights, rope and grappling equipment and other items at the Station House level.
The police have added more lines to 112 emergency numbers and ordered immediate response to distress calls from citizens, and have opened a special flood relief control room in all districts.
Water overflowing on the streets at Mundakayam, Kottayam district.
2:50 p.m. | Heavy rains in Tranvancore
Heavy rains wreak havoc in central Travancore
Heavy rains and strong winds that lashed the Central Travancore from Friday evening have left a trail of destruction across the region.
Meencahil river breached the banks at several locations in Poonjar , Peringalam and Adivaram regions, damaging several houses and inundating the roads.
Multiple instances of landslides were reported from different locations, and at least 50 families from the Ilamkadu village have been relocated to a relief camp opened at the J.J. Murphy school in Enthayar. Several families in the Mundakkaya region too were also relocated
2:40 p.m. | Plappally landslide
Landslip at Plapally
At least twelve persons have been reported missing in a landslip reported from Plappally near Kootikkal
2:31 p.m. | Malankara dam
Water to be released from Malankara dam
Idukki district collector grants permission to raise shutters of Malankara dam up to a maximum of 1.3 metres to release water. In view of this, Ernakulam district collector has asked people on the banks of the Muvattupuzha river and it’s tributaries to stay alert. Tehsildar, village officers asked to evacuate people to safety if necessary
2:31 p.m. | CM REVIEW
Pinarayi Vijayan to review situation
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is set to review the rainfall situation at 3 p.m. today.
The CM’s office has already issued a public alert, urging the public to avoid unnecessary travel. High alert should be maintained for the next 24 hours. People residing on the banks of rivers and streams and high ranges should remain alert, the CMO said. The CMO has also asked people not to enter water bodies and to avoid travel to hilly regions due to the possibility of landslips.
Fishermen have been asked not to set out to sea till Sunday, as squally weather is expected off the Kerala coast and Lakshadweep region.
2:14 p.m. | IMD update
IMD issues red alert
The IMD has issued ‘red alert’ in five districts including Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki and Thrissur. A red alert means extremely heavy rainfall above 20 cm is expected.
Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad are on orange alert today for isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall, while Kannur and Kasaragod are on yellow alert for isolated heavy rainfall.