Kerala braces for heavy rain; 5 NDRF units deployed

Kerala braces for heavy rain; 5 NDRF units deployed

Clouds hover in the sky over Marina beach in Chennai, on Friday. The Indian Meteorological Department has issued a warning predicting heavy to very heavy rainfall in the region with a red alert announced for three districts of Kerala – Idukki, Palakkad and Thrissur for October 7. PTI

Five units of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were on Friday deployed in Kerala in the wake of a heavy rainfall alert for the next four to five days.

“In the wake of predictions of heavy rains in the state, NDRF teams have been deployed in Wayanad, Palakkad, Idukki, Pathanamthitta and Kozhikode districts. A request has been made for 10 more units of NDRF if needed,” the chief minister’s office said in a statement.

On Friday, heavy rainfall was reported from the districts of Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Kannur and Kozhikode. A red alert (for heavy to very heavy rainfall) has been issued on Idukki and Malappuram districts on Sunday.

In the wake of the heavy rain alert, the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority has issued an advisory with extensive restrictions, including on night travel in hilly areas and tourism activities in Idukki district. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the southeast and Central Arabian Sea from Friday. As part of preparatory measures, shutters of about 10 dams have been raised.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in an evening bulletin that the low-pressure area which formed over the southeast Arabian Sea on Friday was very likely to concentrate into a Depression and move northwestwards during the next 24 hours.

“It is very likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm and move towards Oman coast thereafter,” the bulletin said.

Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Lakshadweep are likely to witness widespread rain during the next four to five days, it said.