Kerala's Idukki, Wayanad, Palakkad get heavy rainfall; IMD issues orange alert for six districts

Chief Minister Pinarayi VIjayan has urged citizens to remain vigilant after the IMD issued orange alerts for Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur, Kasaragod, and Idukki districts from 4 to 8 August

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Kochi: Heavy rains lashed the high range Idukki, Wayanad and Palakkad districts in Kerala on Tuesday as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged people to be vigilant. Meanwhile, weathermen predicted widespread showers in the state's central and northernparts this week.

Idukki's Peermade received 14 centimetres, the tourist town of Munnar received 12 centimetres in the last 24 hours, while Vythiri and
Mananthavady in Wayanad recorded 13 and 12 centimetres respectively.

In Palakkad and Ottapalam in Palakkad district, eight and seven centimetres rain was recorded.

The Bhavani river is overflowing and at least 51 people in low-lying areas were shifted to safer places. No camps have been opened so far, government sources said.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has also issued orange alerts for the five northern districts and Idukki for this week. Other districts have been issued the Yellow alert for the same time period.

Orange alerts have been issued in the five northern districts of Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod from 4 to 8 August.

Orange alert indicates heavy rainfall to very heavy rainfall ranging from 6 cm to 20 cm while yellow alert is heavy rainfall ranging from 6 cm to 11 centimetres.

"Stay Weather Aware. Forecasters predict heavy rains in most parts of the State this week. Districts in the central & northern parts of the State are likely to see heavy rains. Orange alerts have been issued. We urge the people in these districts to be vigilant," Vijayan said in a tweet.

The IMD on Tuesday updated its special weather bulletin on the formation of low pressure areas over North Bay of Bengal and said heavy rainfall is expected in Kerala from 4 to 8 August.

"Under the influence of yesterdays cyclonic circulation over northeast Bay of Bengal & neighbourhood a low pressure area had formed over North Bay of Bengal and neighborhood on today morning and now lies over North Bay of Bengal off West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts. It is likely to become more marked during the next 24 hours.

"Associated with the above system heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected from 4th to 7th August and extremely heavy rainfall on 8th August over Kerala," IMD said in its special weather bulletin.

Vijayan had on Monday said the state government has set up a 24-hour functioning control room and said caution will be exercised in the districts of Idukki, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Palakkad which are prone to landslides.

Kerala had been devastated by the worst floods in the last 100 years during August 2018 that claimed over 400 lives and razed several houses, while last year the state's northern parts were flooded again in August as heavy rains and widespread landslides wreaked havoc, claiming over 120 lives.

Many had had lost their lives at Kavalapara in Malappuram and Puthumala in Wayanad alone due to massive landslides.

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