Heavy rains continue to lash Kerala; IMD issues red alert for one district

Heavy rains continue to lash Kerala; IMD issues red alert for one district

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 22 (PTI) As heavy rains continued to lash several parts of Kerala, the India Meteorological Department on Wednesday issued a red alert for Pathanamthitta district of the state.

In view of the risk of natural disasters due to the heavy rains, Pathanamthitta Collector A Shibu prohibited night travel and tourist activities in the hilly areas of the district from November 22 to 24.

In an order issued by the Collector, travel to hilly areas of Pathanamthitta district between 7.00 pm to 6.00 am, kayaking and boating for recreational purposes has been prohibited till November 24.

The district administration said the order was being issued as there was a possibility of natural disasters such as localised small floods, mudslides and landslides in view of the continuing heavy rains.

The prohibition would not apply to Sabarimala pilgrims or travel related to the pilgrimage or disaster relief, the district administration said.

However, pilgrims were advised to be cautious while travelling to and from Sabarimala, especially at night, in view of the red alert issued in the district.

Meanwhile, a 71-year-old woman was swept away in a stream near Valiyakulam village in Pathanamthitta district following the heavy rains.

An officer of Aranmula police station said that the woman had gone to take a bath when the incident occurred and she has still not been found.

Besides the red alert in Pathanamthitta district, the IMD also issued an orange alert for the day in the districts of Thiruvananthapuram and Idukki.

It also issued a yellow alert in all the remaining districts, except Kannur and Kasaragod, of the state.

The IMD, in the evening, predicted thunderstorms with light to moderate rainfall and gusty winds at one or two places in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur districts of the state.

Earlier in the day, the IMD said that cyclonic circulations over Tamil Nadu were likely to cause moderate to medium rainfall accompanied by thunder and lightning in Kerala during the next five days.

It also said there was a possibility of heavy rains in isolated places in the state between November 22-24.

The heavy rains on Tuesday had inconvenienced the thousands of devotees trudging up to the hill-top shrine of Lord Ayyappa in Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district as part of a pilgrimage during the two-month long annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku period.

The rains had also led to flooding of many roads and hilly areas of Thiruvananthapuram district.

A red alert indicates heavy to extremely heavy rains of over 20 cm in 24 hours, while orange alert means very heavy rains from 6 cm to 20 cm of rain. A yellow alert means heavy rainfall between 6 to 11 cm. PTI HMP HMP SS

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