Heavy rains across Kerala as Cyclone Tauktae intensifies

With the deep depression developed over the Lakshadweep in the Arabian Sea intensifying into cyclonic storm Tauktae, Kerala continues to witness heavy rain on Saturday morning. A red alert, warning extremely heavy rainfall of more than 20 cm, has been issued in the northern districts of the state including Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, Wayanad and Kasaragod. An orange alert has been sounded in Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Idukki, Kottayam, Ernakulam and Thrissur while Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad have been placed under yellow alert.

About 310 persons from 100 families in Vadakara village of Kozhikode district, living in low-lying areas and coastal regions were shifted to safety while seven persons from Thoppa in Kasaba village were shifted to temporary camps. As many as 17 families from Kappalangadi and two families from Vakkadavu and six families of Kadalundikkadavu were also shifted to relief camps and relatives’ houses in view of the rough sea experienced here.

With the non-stop downpour, the sea has turned rough in Kasaragod. Though no untoward incident has been reported yet, a few families near Cherangai coast were asked to move to relatives’ place after their houses were inundated. No relief camps have been opened as of now because of the Covid-19 protocols in place in the state. There is a fear that relief camps might result in more spread of the virus.

Several parts of Kerala have been experiencing heavy rains for the past few days. The coastal regions are under the threat of rough sea. Many families have been displaced and many houses partially or fully damaged.

Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an alert for the coastal regions of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Maharashtra as Cyclone Taukate is expected to make a landfall between May 17 and 18.

National Disaster Response Force has deployed 53 teams to tackle possible after-effects of cyclone Tauktae. Out of the 53 teams, 24 have been pre-deployed or stationed on the ground while the rest are on standby.

At the same time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting with senior officials today to review the preparations against the cyclone.