Meteorological Department on Friday said the 'Red Alert' will continue in seven districts of Kerala on Saturday. 22 people have died so far in rain and landslides across the state and over 23,000 people were shifted to relief camps.
Extremely heavy rains are most likely to continue in Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram, Palakkad, Idukki and Ernakulam on Saturday and an Orange alert has been issued for Kasaragod, Thrissur, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts.
Thirteen teams of the 4th Battalion National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were deployed in the districts of Kerala in response to a request from the administration following heavy rain, floods and landslides in the state.
Three teams were deployed in Wayanad, two teams each in Malappuram and Kozhikode, one each in Idukki, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Thrissur and Kasaragod, an official release said on Friday.
A 24x7 control room of the 4th Battalion is closely monitoring the situation and is in close touch with other agencies and stakeholders.
Governor P Sathasivam has appealed people to co-operate with the rescue and rehabilitation work by abiding by the directions of the state government and the disaster management agencies.
He has also decided to cancel off the 'Reception' (‘At Home’ function) to be held as part of Independence Day on August 15 at 6.30 p.m at the Kerala Raj Bhavan in view of the flood situation prevailing in Kerala.
Residents in this premium-gated colony are worried
In Ernakulam, heavy rain during the last two days has left 35 families in a premium-gated colony at Edappally worried. Many have parked their cars elsewhere fearing a flooding similar to what they saw in August 2018 when their houses as well as their cars that were parked on the porticos ended up being fully submerged.
Some residents have only just finished repairing their houses that were damaged in last year's floods. For the last two days, they have been glued to news channels and online sites watching the forecast.
"We have not been able to sleep peacefully for the last two days. All residents are panic and keeping a close watch on the water level in the canal," said Manju Shaji, a resident of the colony. "We are praying for the rains to subside,” added Manju.
Last year, it was water from Muttar river that caused the flooding, and for the residents, the mere thought of a repeat flooding was extremely stressful.
"We can't think of a similar situation which we underwent last year. But we have learnt a lesson from 2018 flood and this year, we have made arrangements to deal with it. All valuable items have been shifted to safer locations, " Shankar added.
The memories of last year's flooding still linger in the minds of all the residents because it was for the first time in the last 20 years of their stay at the property that they had to face a hard time.
"We are tracking the MET alerts regularly and are worried” Manju said, pointing to the repairs undertaken on the wall of a house at the colony after last year's flood.
Another resident Alice Mammen said they were really worried by the forecast of more rains in the coming days.
'Beware of fake news'
Agriculture Minister VS Sunil Kumar on Friday said though a flood-like situation does prevail in Thrissur district, it is a lot less severe than last year's.
"A flood-like situation exists here. People have been evacuated from such areas while many voluntarily moved to the relief camps following last year's experience. The district administration is dealing with the situation effectively," he said.
The minister also cautioned the public about attempts to spread fake news through social media. There were fake messages that Peechi dam and some other dams in the district were opened, which were denied by the district administration. District Collector S Shanavas warned the public of strict action if fake messages are spread.
(With agency inputs)