THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Heavy rainfall, ranging from 7 cm to 11 cm in a span of 24 hours, is likely to occur at one or two places in the state till Monday morning, the Met Department has warned.
Fishermen should exercise caution as southwesterly winds with speeds occasionally reaching 45-55 kmph are likely along and off Kerala coast and over Lakshadweep area. According to the weatherman, rainfall lashing the state at present could be attributed to the late withdrawal of the southwest monsoon.
“The Southwest monsoon currents still prevail over the state. This is expected to continue for a few more days,” S Sudevan, Director, Meteorological Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, told Express. He said it was too early to attribute the current rainfall to the arrival of the Northeast monsoon. “Though the withdrawal of the southwest monsoon and arrival of northeast monsoon is a simultaneous process, the conditions at present do not warrant the latter. Currently, there is no change in the wind pattern which continues to be from the southwest direction,” he clarified. According to the Met Department, Northeast monsoon is expected to arrive in the state only by October 20.
Disaster preparedness advisory issued
According to the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), heavy rainfall is expected along the coastal areas and also in the hilly regions. Landslides have already been reported from Idukki, Wayanad and Kozhikode.According to SDMA member secretary Sekhar L Kuriakose, the current situation has been classified as ‘Level 1’ which warrants district-level alertness against natural disasters. Restriction will be in place on traffic movement along hilly tracts between 6 pm and 6 am.
Parents should ensure that children do not play in rivers and deep water bodies. As rivers are in spate, those who venture out on recreational purposes and swimming should take necessary precautions.
The SDMA has advised against travelling to isolated and interior forests, particularly to rivulets and streams for recreational purposes.
Those who live in isolated houses in the hilly segments should consider spending the night in the houses of relatives who live in safer and relatively less steeper areas.Farmers in the hilly tracts should allow smooth drainage of rain water from steep slopes and areas adjacent to exposed bed rock. Collection of water in such locations may increase the probability of landslides.
Disaster management authorities have warned motorists not to stop vehicles along road side waterfalls and avoid ‘disaster tourism’ as it hinders smooth disaster response and relief operations.
“All police stations and fire stations have been asked to be on alert regarding the rainfall and associated disaster probabilities within their jurisdictional limits,” Sekhar added.