Kerala rains: Schools, colleges shut in 3 districts, red alert issued for Idukki, Kannur, and Kasaragod

As heavy rains continue, three district administration has declared holiday to educational institutions and has set up control rooms.

BySreerag PS

Published Jul 04, 2023 | 12:46 PMUpdatedJul 04, 2023 | 2:09 PM

Kerala monsoon rains

The Southwest Monsoon has gained momentum in Kerala, with heavy rains continuously lashing several parts of the state amidst reports of flooding, even as a 11-year-old died in a rain-related incident.

In the wake of the heavy rainfall, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) declared a red alert for Idukki, Kasaragod, and Kannur districts on Tuesday, 4 July.

Educational institutions closed

The district collectors of Ernakulam and Alappuzha districts have declared a holiday for all educational institutions, while the Kasaragod district collector ordered a holiday for all educational institutions except colleges, on Tuesday.

Control rooms have been set up across the state to monitor the situation as the IMD issued orange alerts for all the remaining 11 districts in the state for the day.

The incessant rains have prompted authorities to open relief camps in Alappuzha and Idukki districts and families are being relocated to the camps as a precautionary measure. The heavy rains have also caused the suspension of the train between Punalur and Kollam as a tree fell on the railway tracks.

Meanwhile, Kerala Education Minister V Shivankutty informed all the district collectors that if it rains, the holiday for educational institutions should be declared the day before. The minister’s statement came in the wake of complaints from parents and students that declaring holidays late was creating hardships for them.

Also read: Kuttikattukara camp is home for Pushpamma every monsoon

NDRF teams deployed

On Monday, an 11-year-old girl from the Kasaragod district died after a tree fell on her head. Following the incident, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan advised people to be vigilant and asked them to avoid getting close to rivers, travelling to hilly areas, and trips to beaches.

Vijayan also said on his official Facebook page that a state emergency operation centre had been formed and sought officials to ensure that district and taluk level emergency centres are functional round the clock.

He also announced that seven teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in Idukki, Pathanamthitta, Malappuram, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Alappuzha, and Thrissur districts.

In case of any emergencies, the public has been informed to contact the district helpline numbers.

  • Alappuzha: 04772238630
  • Pathanamthitta: 0468 2322515
  • Ernakulam: 0484 2423513, 04862 233111
  • Kannur: 04972 700645
  • Toll free: 1077

Also read: Why NIO spawns extremely severe cyclones ahead of the monsoon

IMD’s prediction

On Monday, the IMD predicted rainfall across the state for five consecutive days.

“The Monsoon trough at mean sea level is south of its normal position. The off-shore trough at mean sea level runs from the south Maharashtra coast to the Kerala coast. A cyclonic circulation lies over central parts of south Bay of Bengal in middle levels and another cyclonic circulation over the north Andaman Sea in lower levels,” stated the weather forecast by IMD.

“Isolated heavy rainfall also likely over Kerala and Mahe during the next five days, with extremely heavy falls over Kerala and Mahe on 4 and 5 July,” added the IMD in its statement.

A red alert indicates heavy to extremely heavy rains of over 20 cm in 24 hours, while an orange alert means very heavy rains from 6 cm to 20 cm of rain.

Kochi waterlogged

Since Monday morning the streets of Kochi have been waterlogged. The Ernakulam district collector warned people living in landslide-prone areas to exercise extreme caution.

The official Facebook page of Ernakulam district collector said that in view of “intense rains” in the district, a holiday was declared for all educational institutions.

Considering the orange alert sounded in the district on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Mining and Geology Department ordered the halting of all kinds of mining and related operations in Ernakulam.

As heavy downpour is expected in southern Alappuzha, the district administration declared a holiday to all educational institutions, including schools, and professional colleges, an official statement said.

As a precautionary measure, a holiday was declared for all educational institutions, except colleges in the northernmost Kasaragod district as well.

The Kasaragod district administration urged people to avoid travelling unnecessarily through high-range roads due to the threat of landslides. Two-wheeler riders were advised to avoid national highways as waterlogging has been reported in many places due to continuous rainfall.

In Pathanamthitta, special control rooms are operational at the district collectorate and taluk offices around the cock to meet any exigency as rains intensified.

All taluks in nearby Kottayam district also witnessed heavy downpour throughout the night. The sky is overcast and rain continued to batter many places, authorities said.

Also read: Following 2018, 2019 floods, a better prepared Kerala battles heavy rainfall

Monsoon moves to its active stage

“Due to the influence of the cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, the speed of the wind has intensified. The wind speed and the off-shore trough between Kerala and Gujarat coasts are the two major reasons for the intensified rain in the state. This has led the monsoon to its active stage and its effect will remain for a few days,” Abhilash S, associate professor at the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) had explained to South First earlier.

According to Abhilash, similar spells of rain are common every monsoon season like a cycle and it could be expected at least thrice in the season, anytime between June and September.

“We are expecting the current spell to last till 7 July, the peak time is expected between 3 to 5 July,” Abhilash added.