THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Pilgrims to Sabarimala have been warned not to bathe in the Pampa as a precautionary move with a storm brewing off Kanyakumari and intensifying into a cyclone.
Weathermen have named the storm Ockhi and forecast a lashing for southern and central Kerala as the low pressure system makes for Lakshadweep.
The State Disaster Management Authority has issued an alert for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Idukki and Kottayam districts. Travel to hilly districts has been advised against as there is a threat of landslides. Fishermen have been advised to stay ashore.
Early Thursday, the southern districts of Kerala were already being pounded by rain, and the Met Department said it is likely to continue right up to Saturday. Lakshadweep is slated for a drenching until Sunday.
Squally weather has been forecast for towns along the south Kerala coast with winds up to 55 kmph blowing.
In the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram, strong winds uprooted many trees and snapped power cables at many places.
The district administration declared a holiday for schools from 12 noon Thursday.