Kerala rains update: The South West Monsoon has become active across Kerala after a dull start. Several districts are once again witnessing heavy downpour, raising the water level in some of the reservoirs. Though there were no reports of loss of life, normal life has been affected in many parts of the state due to continuous showers.
Shutters of four dams coming under Idukki and Ernakulam districts have been opened as water level rose due to heavy rains in the catchment areas. News agency ANI reported that the Idukki district administration opened one shutter of Kallarkutty dam on Saturday morning. One shutter of Pambla dam, two shutters of the Malankara dam in Idukki and nine shutters of Boothathankettu dam in Ernakulam district were opened on Friday, a report in The News Minute said.
The government has asked people living along the banks of the Periyar River and its tributaries to be cautious as there is a possibility of water levels rising exponentially due to heavy rains. Idukki district Collector H Dhineshan has requested people in the high ranges to avoid night journeys as there was a possibility of landslides.
A PTI report said that red alert (extremely heavy rains) was issued by the IMD for Idukki, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram and Kannur districts with over 20 cm rains being forecast from July 19-22. Also, seven fishermen are missing and relief camps have been opened in Idukki and Kozhikode.
According to the IMD, the second spell of the monsoon started on Wednesday in Kerala which had recorded 46% deficiency till July 15. It said that while Peermede in Idukki and Kozhikode each recorded 15 cm of rainfall, Ponnani in Malappuram recorded 14 cm. Incidents of trees being uprooted in many places, some of them falling on homes and damaging the dwellings have also been reported.
A PTI report said that many low lying areas in Kozhikode were waterlogged. The busy Mavoor road remained underwater for over six hours. Water also entered some hotels and nearby buildings. In Kannur, people were shifted to relief camps as water entered nearly 30 houses at Thavakkara. In Chellanam area in Kochi, water entered several homes in the low lying areas. Some places in Malappuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam and Kottayam districts received rainfall of over 12 cm. In the high range Idukki district, landslips in some places affected vehicular movement on the Ettumanoor-Peerumedu Road.
Pilgrims visiting the famous Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district, which has been opened for the five-day monthly pooja, were put to difficulties due to incessant rain. "Due to heavy rain since yesterday, the Pamba area was flooded. But now the water is receding," said a top official in-charge of Disaster Management Authority in Pathanamthita district. In Kasargod, District Collector has declared a holiday on Saturday for all educational institutions, including professional colleges in the district in the wake of heavy rains and red alert.
Kerala witnessed worst floods in nearly a century in 2018. According to an estimate, nearly 500 people were killed as about one-sixth of the southern state’s total population was affected directly by the deluge.