Kerala govt declares red alert in 7 districts as IMD expects heavy rainfall

Representative Image. File photo: PTI
The Government of Kerala has declared red alert in seven districts including the flood affected Wayanad, Idukki and Palakkad, till Wednesday considering that the rains are receding in these districts. The government has also said that more water will be released from Cheruthoni dam, in Idukki, as Tamil Nadu is expected to release water from Mullaiperiyar dam.

While the rains has receded for a shortwhile in many districts on Monday, many of these districts started seeing more rainfall on Tuesday. According to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Thiruvananthapuram, heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected to continue on Wednesday in Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragode.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's office has said that Tamil Nadu may release water to Kerala side of Periyar from Mullaperiyar reservoir considering high inflow into the reservoir. Hence, Kerala State Disaster Management Authority has decided to release more water from the Cheruthoni Dam. 

"People living close to the banks of Periyar, which flows through Ernakulam, Idukki and Thrissur districts should comply with the directions issued by District Collectors of these districts and move to relief camps," said the Chief Minister's Office. All the five shutters of Cheruthoni dam were open for a few days last week to control the water levls in the Idukki reservoir. With the water levels going up, all the shutters will be once again opened to release water, which may again affect the people in the banks of Periyar.

The State has been seeking financial support from people across the world. Around 186 people have died during this year's monsoon and tens of thousands of people have been affected due to heavy rains, landslide and flood. The central government has allocated Rs 1 billion as immediate relief and various neighbouring States have also extended financial support.

Various corporates and multinational firms have also extended support. TVS Motor Company has contributed Rs 10 million to the Kerala Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) in lieu of the distressing flood situation in Kerala. Mercedes-Benz India on Wednesday also announced its contribution as a responsible corporate citizen to support the relief activities currently undertaken by the authorities in the state. Mercedes-Benz announced a voluntary contribution of Rs 2.5 million towards the Chief Minister’s National Relief Fund. The company has also announced customer service support to its brand vehicles which were damaged in the inundations in the State.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday said that the impact of the disaster is likely to be felt for a long time. Preliminary assessment indicate that nearly 20,000 houses have been fully damaged and nearly 10,000 km of state PWD roads have been left damaged. The preliminary loss is estimated to be around Rs 83.16 billion. 

"Between 9th and 12th of this month, 37 lives have been lost and 5 persons are still missing. So far, 186 lives have been lost in the heavy rainfalls and floods. There had been 211 landslides. Tens of thousands are in the relief camps," said Vijayan in his social media page. The State has requested around Rs 12 billion from the central government for immediate relief and rehabilitation.

"State is in the midst of the second worst flood after 1924 and the heavy rainfall continues unabated. 10 out of the 14 districts are severely affected. 27 major dam shutters have been opened. The calamities are of rare severity and the damages caused are enormous," he said earlier in his Twitter account.