Heavy rains continue to batter Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 23 (PTI) Incessant heavy rains, accompanied by thunder and lightning, continued to batter many districts of Kerala on Thursday, prompting authorities to urge people to exercise extra vigil in high ranges and low-lying areas there.
As hilly areas witnessed landslides and mudslides in Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts, intense waterlogging affected the normal life of people in several places, cutting across villages and towns.
Continuous rains flooded several low-lying areas of Thiruvananthapuram, disrupting normal life and creating traffic snarls.
The water level in the canals of Parvathi Puthanar and Amayizhanchan Thodu, criss-crossing through the heart of the capital city, rose, causing concern among local residents and authorities.
Quoting weather reports, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the rain is likely to continue under the influence of the low pressure in the Bay of Bengal.
Many areas of the state received intense rains on Wednesday night and continuous downpours are expected today and tomorrow afternoons, he said while addressing a press conference on the sidelines of the Nava Kerala Sadas in Wayanad, an outreach programme of the state government.
The water level in major rivers in Pathanamthitta, where a red alert was sounded by the India Meteorological Department, was rising due to continuous rains, authorities said.
A red alert indicates heavy to extremely heavy rains of over 20 cm in 24 hours.
In the wake of heavy rains in the district, Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan directed the district collector and the district police chief to monitor the security arrangements for Sabarimala pilgrims.
Heavy waterlogging was reported on the Pathanamthitta-Thiruvalla and Punalur-Muvattupuzha roads.
Widespread destruction of agriculture and damage to properties were reported in the Thiruvalla and Konni areas and traffic was disrupted on Kumali-Munnar road as uprooted trees blocked vehicles.
The hilly areas of Nedumangadu and Neyyattinkara in Thiruvananthapuram also witnessed heavy rains.
The shutters of Kallarkutty and Pambla dams in Idukki districts were raised in the morning due to increased water levels following heavy rains in their catchment areas.
In the wake of the raising of the shutters in the dams, the Idukki district collector urged people living on the shores of the Periyar and Muthirapuzhayar rivers to exercise extra vigil.
The collector also directed officials concerned to take necessary precautionary measures to ensure the safety of local residents in case of any emergency.
Detailing various measures taken by the government, Vijayan said one relief camp each was opened in Thiruvananthapuram and Pathanamthitta districts and 38 people have been shifted to safer places in Kollam.
Waterlogging and crop destruction were reported in Thrissur and Pathanamthitta districts respectively, he said.
As many as 15 places have received more than 100 mm of rain in the last eight hours, the chief minister detailed.
The Sabarimala pilgrimage is progressing smoothly and directions have been issued to pay special vigil in the areas connected to the annual event. No major dams have been opened in the state and only small reservoirs in Idukki and Thiruvananthapuram have been opened so far, he said.
Vijayan said though the water level in Mullaperiyar Dam rose to 135 ft, there is no dangerous situation as of now.
In addition to district emergency centres, taluk emergency centres were also directed to be made operational in the state, he said.
An online meeting, chaired by state Revenue Minister K Rajan , took stock of the situation prevailing in the state in the morning, the chief minister added. PTI LGK KH
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