THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Heavy rains continued to batter Kerala today causing widespread damage, landslip and waterlogging in various parts with the state government announcing a holiday tomorrow in educational institutes.
With the South-West monsoon vigorous over the state and the Met office predicting more rains including very heavy spells at a few places over the next two days, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said district collectors and other officials have been put on alert and directed to take necessary precautionary steps to meet any eventuality.
In a Facebook post today, he also announced all educational institutes in the state, including professional colleges, will be remain shut tomorrow in view of the heavy rains.
Fire force and disaster management departments have been asked to be on alert. Those staying close to areas prone to landslips and river banks should exercise caution, he said.
After a lull for some time, several parts of the state have been receiving good rains in the last few days.
As per the observations recorded at 8.30 am today by the Met office, Mannarkad in Palakkad district received an extremely heavy rainfall of 23 cm followed by Vadakara in Kozhikode district (18 cm) Perinthalmanna in Malappuram district (16 cm) and Piravom (Ernakulam district) 15 cm.
Rain occurred at most places in Lakshadweep, India Meteorological department officials here said this evening.
An IMD bulletin said very heavy rainfall (12-20 cm in 24 hours) was most likely to occur at one or two places and heavy rainfall (7-11 cm in 24 hours) at a few places in the state and Lakshadweep till tomorrow morning.
Heavy rainfall (7-11 cm in 24 hours) was most likely to continue at one or two places in Kerala till September 19 morning, it added.
Incessant rains triggered landslip in the tribal hamlet of Attappady and adjacent areas in Palakkad district this morning but no one was injured, officials said.
Rail traffic was partially affected on the Kottayam-Thiruvananthapuram route as earth caved in and onto the track following heavy rains.
Fishermen have been warned that strong winds from the southwesterly direction speed occasionally reaching 45-55 kmph was likely along and off Kerala coast and over Lakshadweep during next 24 hours commencing from 2 pm today.
According to authorities, many parts of Palakkad is experiencing heavy rain for the past three days and widespread destruction and agricultural crop loss have been reported in the interior areas.
Houses and roads were damaged in various parts.
Anakkal, Puthur and Jellyppara areas in Attappady, where the landslip was reported, were affected the most.
Several parts of high range Idukki and coastal Alappuzha district also experienced heavy rains. Waterlogging caused traffic blocks in some parts of Kochi.
The rains have come as a relief to the state which had registered a 25 per cent dip in the rainfall between June 1-August 23 this year under the southwest monsoon.
The districts, where the major hydel projects are located, especially received lower rainfall during the period--28 per cent in Idukki district, 55 per cent in Wayanad and 31 per cent in Thiruvananthapuram.