KOCHI: The sudden intensity of rain, accompanied by strong winds on Thursday, brought back memories of floods in August 2018 and 2019. For people in Idukki, Wayanad and Malappuram, rain intensity led to apprehensions of moving to camps in the middle of the pandemic. Landslides, overflowing rivers, caving of roads marked the rain that abated by afternoon and picked up a little later.
IMD issued a red alert for Malappuram on Friday along with an orange alert for Ernakulam, Idukki, Palakkad, Thrissur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Kasaragod and Kannur with heavy rain (12-20cm). IMD added that extremely heavy rain is likely on Saturday and issued orange alerts for all districts, except Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam.
Water from some dams/reservoirs were released, mainly Kallarkutty and Lower Periyar that had more than 90% in storage. Three shutters of Ponmudi dam will be opened at 10am to release 65 cusecs of water into Panniyar River on Friday, officials said.
Meanwhile, IMD said there will be strong south-westerly/westerly monsoonal flow over the Arabian Sea with wind speed reaching 50-60km/hr along the west coast till Saturday. Another low-pressure area may develop over west-central, adjoining north Bay of Bengal around Sunday, so heavy to extremely heavy rain is expected till Sunday.
Mananthavady recorded maximum rain at 19cm followed by Vythiri (18 cm). Padinjarathara dam area recorded 17cm while Nilambur got 10cm rain. Kuppady (Wayanad) got 9cm, while Munnar recorded 8cm.
Following the warning in central and north Kerala, especially hilly regions, Kerala state disaster management authority (KSDMA) put six different teams of national disaster response force on standby mode.
Officials said that there is one team each in Wayanad, Idukki, Thrissur, Alappuzha, Malappuram and Palakkad. Of these, Malappuram and Palakkad teams reached on Thursday morning. The other four teams were in Kerala since June 4.
A weather warning advisory was issued for Kerala coast by district operations team of the coastguard asking Kerala to recall all fishermen who have gone to sea for fishing. IMD said that under the influence of cyclonic circulation, squally weather (wind reaching speeds of 50-60km/hr) and high waves (3.5-5.5m) are likely along the coast. Fisherfolk are being advised using all available means not to venture into the sea in view of the adverse weather conditions.