New Delhi: Amid heavy rainfall lashing parts of Kerala and a red alert issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in four districts, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday issued a slew of measures to be taken to handle rain-induced problems such as landslides and flooding. In a meeting, he directed the local bodies to make a list of disaster- prone areas under their jurisdictions and provide it to the village officers, police, fire services and disaster management authorities.
According to a report by news agency PTI, CM Vijayan also instructed the officials concerned to set up relief camps for evacuating people from high-risk zones, ensuring basic facilities like water, food and sanitation in the camps and wrap up the preparation work on a priority basis.
He also directed to set up control rooms in all local bodies and provide the helpline to the people.
Instructing that the measures to check the monsoon-related disasters should be planned well in advance, CM Vijayan said that the pre-monsoon clean-up operations should be completed by the local bodies from May 22 to May 29.
He also added that the gutters should be desilted, and the silt should not be deposited alongside them. He further asked the officials to take steps to ensure free flow of all the rivers in the state.
Notably, IMD issued a red alert in the northern districts of Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod on Wednesday. Earlier, the weather department had issued an orange alert for seven districts, including the four and Thrissur, Palakkad and Malappuram.
An orange alert has also been issued in Kannur and Kasaragod for Thursday.
As per the PTI report, the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority has predicted widespread rain over the next five days, with possibility of isolated thunder, lightning and strong winds as an effect of the cyclonic circulation in and around Kerala and a low-pressure trough from north of the state to Vidarbha region.
The weather department has also predicted isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall for the next two days and heavy rainfall for two days thereafter.
It is to be noted that the southern state has been experiencing heavy rainfall over the last few days throwing the normal life out of gear in certain places.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has already deployed five teams in Kerala amid the rain.
Meanwhile, the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) has urged the people to stay away from rivers and other water bodies till the rains subside.
It has also advised people against travelling to hilly regions unless in emergency, and to avoid night travel.
The district administrations have also sounded an alert for the people staying near coastal areas.
Earlier, the IMD had predicted that southwest monsoon, also known as Edavapathy, is likely to bring its first showers by May 27, five days earlier than the normal, to Kerala.
Notably, a red alert indicates heavy to extremely heavy rains of over 20 cm in 24 hours. An orange alert indicates very heavy rains from 6 cm to 20 cm of rain, while a yellow alert means heavy rainfall between 6 cm to 11 cm.