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Kerala rains Highlights: Kerala braces for more rain; people evacuated from landslide-prone areas

Kerala rains Highlights: IMD data shows that the southern state has received 135 per cent excess rain during the period from October 1 to 19.

By: Express Web Desk | Kochi, New Delhi |
Updated: October 21, 2021 8:36:47 am
Kottayam: A woman breaks down as her house damaged in landslide due to heavy rain at Plappally pandalam in Kottayam District, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Kerala Rain News Today Highlights: Rain-battered Kerala is set to receive more rain starting today, IMD has predicted. As per IMD’s prediction, the Western Ghat belt and eastern hills of the state will receive heavy to extremely heavy rains. Keeping in mind last week’s devastating landslides in Idukki and Kottayam districts, the Kerala government for the first time has begun evacuating people residing in landslide-prone areas in the eastern hills of the state, while district administrations have readied fishermen with boats to evacuate people from low-lying areas.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan called on those residing in river basins and hilly regions to be extremely vigilant.

IMD data shows that the southern state has received 135 per cent excess rain during the period from October 1 to 19. During the heavy spell on October 16 when the IMD issued a Red alert indicating extremely heavy rainfall, numerous incidents of landslips and other rain-related accidents were reported from south-central districts of Kerala, resulting in at least 27 deaths. The season’s rainfall data on IMD website shows that the normal rainfall for the period of October 1 to 19 was 192.7 mm whereas the actual rainfall was 453.5 mm.

Meanwhile, with the Navy and NDRF recovering more bodies from under the debris at Koottickal in Kottayam district and Kokkayar in neighbouring Idukki district, the death toll in the devastating landslides and flash floods climbed to 27 on Monday. According to the state disaster management authority, the toll from rain-related incidents rose to 38 since October 12. According to the state government’s figures, while 13 bodies were recovered from the landslide-hit area of Plappally in Koottickal panchayat, nine were retrieved from Kokkayar.

Live Blog

Kerala rains Highlights: Kerala braces for more rain; people evacuated from landslide-prone areas; death toll at 27

23:02 (IST)20 Oct 2021
Places on banks of Periyar river in Ernakulam on high alert

Places falling on the banks of the Periyar river have been put on high alert by the Ernakulam district administration as the water released from the Idukki dam reached flood-prone areas of Aluva in Kochi, ANI reported.

17:05 (IST)20 Oct 2021
IMD issues orange alert for Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Kottayam on Thursday

Of the 14 districts of Kerala, 11 are on yellow alert on Wednesday, while three are on green alert. Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department has issued an orange alert for three districts (Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Kottayam) on Thursday and yellow alert for five districts.

A yellow alert indicates moderate rain while an orange alert inidicates the district will receive heavy to very heavy rain.

15:32 (IST)20 Oct 2021
Ham radios to the rescue in rain-hit Kerala

Even as the incessant rains and resultant flooding disrupted lives across central Kerala, ham radio enthusiasts have quietly swung into action in Thrissur district, setting up their unique work stations to ensure a steady stream of communication in case nature's fury wreaked havoc on conventional systems of contact.

The district administration here has sought the service of Ham radio operators to coordinate disaster relief operations in case the communication system gets cut off due to any rain-related incident. "Communication turns out to be a major challenge when natural calamities strike. During heavy floods, there are chances that the power supply will be down for days, which will affect the communication systems including the mobile phones," Sarachandran C S, a former merchant navy officer-turned-ham radio operator told PTI.

14:23 (IST)20 Oct 2021
Kerala Assembly pays homage to flood victims; death toll 39, says CM

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said a total of 39 people had lost their lives and 217 houses had been destroyed completely in the devastating landslides and flash floods that had occurred in the south-central districts of the state recently.

At least six people were yet to be traced and 304 rehabilitation camps were opened after the heavy rains battered several areas of the southern state, he told the Assembly. After paying homage to the flood victims and pledging all support to the affected families, Speaker M B Rajesh declared the House adjourned today.

The session, for the next two days, has been cancelled as the MLAs have to co-ordinate the flood relief programmes in their respective constituencies. The House was scheduled to be convened again from October 25. (PTI)

10:13 (IST)20 Oct 2021
Kerala braces for more rain, alert sounded in landslide-prone areas

Rain-battered Kerala is set to receive more rain starting Wednesday, IMD has predicted. As per IMD’s prediction, the Western Ghat belt and eastern hills of the state will receive heavy to extremely heavy rains.

Keeping in mind last week’s devastating landslides in Idukki and Kottayam districts, the Kerala government for the first time has begun evacuating people residing in landslide-prone areas in the eastern hills of the state, while district administrations have readied fishermen with boats to evacuate people from low-lying areas.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan called on those residing in river basins and hilly regions to be extremely vigilant. Read the full report here. 

22:23 (IST)19 Oct 2021
Opposition flays Kerala govt's flood management

The opposition Congress and the BJP in Kerala on Tuesday hit out at the ruling LDF over its flood management, claiming the government failed to implement projects including "Room For River" project and 'Rebuild Kerala' announced by it earlier to tackle the frequent flooding in the state. Talking to reporters in Kannur, Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly, V D Satheesan, said the Chief Minister during his visit to Netherlands in May 2019 had announced "Room for River" project, being implemented in the European nation, to tackle flooding and ensure safety of people living in flood prone areas. BJP state president K Surendran alleged that "Rebuild Kerala", the government's dream project, has come to a "complete standstill". (PTI)

21:43 (IST)19 Oct 2021
Centre closely monitoring rainfall situation, providing all possible help: JP Nadda

"Saddened by the loss of lives due to heavy rainfall in parts of Kerala. Central Govt is closely monitoring the situation & providing all possible help. My condolences and thoughts are with the affected families in this hour of grief & I pray for the safety and well-being of all," says JP Nadda.

19:04 (IST)19 Oct 2021
Kerala received 135 per cent extra rain this month, says IMD

As Kerala braces for another spell of downpour from October 20, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) data shows that the southern state has received 135 per cent excess rain during the period from October 1 to 19. During the heavy spell on October 16 when the IMD issued a Red alert indicating extremely heavy rainfall, numerous incidents of landslips and other rain-related accidents were reported from south-central districts of Kerala, resulting in at least 24 deaths.

The season's rainfall data on IMD website shows that the normal rainfall for the period of October 1 to 19 was 192.7 mm whereas the actual rainfall was 453.5 mm. There is a "large excess departure" of 135 per cent, the website says. Except for Thrissur and Alappuzha, all other districts have received over 100 per cent of the usual rainfall. While Kozhikode saw the highest increase (223 per cent excess), Alappuzha saw the least increase (66 per cent) in rainfall.

"During October-December, through the north-east Monsoon, the state receives an average rainfall of 491.6 mm, which is 16.8 percent of the annual rainfall. This year, the state has received 453.5 mm rain during Oct 1-19, instead of the usual 192.7 mm. This means that the state has already received over 90 per cent of this season's rainfall. The heavy downpour which the state witnessed recently marks withdrawal of the southwest monsoon which normally ends by September 30," a senior IMD official told PTI.

17:56 (IST)19 Oct 2021
CM urges for extreme caution as IMD issues Orange alert for 11 districts

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has advised the public to exercise extreme caution in the wake of India Meteorological Department predicting more heavy showers in the state in coming days. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued Orange alert in 11 districts of Kerala including Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur for October 20 and Yellow alert in Kasaragod, Alappuzha and Kollam. An Orange alert has been issued for all districts other than Kannur and Kasaragod on October 21. IMD has forecast heavy rain for three days beginning October 20 in several parts of Kerala.

15:40 (IST)19 Oct 2021
Orange alert in all districts except Kannur and Kasaragod on Thursday

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an Orange alert for all districts other than Kannur and Kasaragod on October 21.

13:27 (IST)19 Oct 2021
IMD issues Orange alert in 11 districts for tomorrow; Yellow in Kollam, Alappuzha, Kasaragod

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued Orange alert in 11 districts of Kerala including Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur districts for October 20 and Yellow alert in Kasaragod, Alappuzha and Kollam. 

13:24 (IST)19 Oct 2021
See E P Unny's cartoon on Kerala today

13:12 (IST)19 Oct 2021
By Tuesday evening, water is expected to flow through Periyar and its tributaries
Water was released from the Idukki reservoir at 11 am Tuesday. (Express Photo: Nitin RK)

By Tuesday evening, around 4 pm, the water is expected to flow through Periyar and its tributaries by panchayats adjoining Aluva town like Keezhmad and Chengamanad and finally join the Arabian Sea. The decision to open the shutters of the Cheruthoni dam, as well as the Idamalayar and Pamba dams, on Tuesday was taken by a high-level committee appointed by the state government to look into the technical aspects of the water level in the dams and the impact it would have on settlements alongside the rivers.

12:28 (IST)19 Oct 2021
Explained: Why October’s been so rainy
Rain clouds fill the sky as people travel in a ferry in Kochi, Kerala, Monday, Oct.18, 2021. The southwest monsoon is yet to withdraw in Kerala; it is followed by the northeast monsoon that runs well into the winter months. (AP Photo/R S Iyer)

The monsoon is over but several parts of the country are still receiving rainfall. Delhi, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand, for example, have received very high rainfall in the last few days, resulting in loss of life and property in some places. Delhi has just had one of its wettest 24-hour periods in several decades.

Scientists say a combination of factors — delayed monsoon and development of low-pressure areas at multiple places — have resulted in these rainfall events at several places. Read more here

11:48 (IST)19 Oct 2021
Along Chalakudy river basin in Thrissur, people evacuated from low-lying areas

Along the basin of Chalakudy river in Thrissur district, people have been evacuated from low-lying areas after Sholayar, Peringalkuthu and Parambikulam dams were opened. In Ernakulam district as well, local governing bodies along the banks of Periyar have been alerted to shift people in the wake of rising waters.

11:43 (IST)19 Oct 2021
People living along banks of Periyar river basin have been alerted

The minister said all precautionary measures have been taken and people living along the banks of Periyar river basin have been alerted. Already, 64 families which would be immediately affected by opening dam shutters have been evacuated. All tourism centres in the district, including Munnar, have been closed, he said.

Minister Saji Cheriyan, who is overseeing the relief measures in Alappuzha district, said as the Kakki dam was opened, vigil has been maintained in Chengannur, Pandanad and Thiruvandoor (which had been hit badly in the flood of 2018). Fishermen have been roped in for rescue operations in addition to the two teams of NDRF. “Twenty-three fishermen groups are in the field. Service of more fishermen would be ensured,’’ he said.

11:39 (IST)19 Oct 2021
What happens when water is released from Idukki dam

With predictions by the Meteorological Department of a fresh bout of heavy rainfall starting Wednesday, as a precautionary measure, water was released from the Idukki reservoir at 11 am Tuesday. This is the second time in three years that water was released from the reservoir, the largest in the state and one of the highest arch dams in Asia. 

Since the reservoir itself doesn't have shutters, two sluice gates of the Cheruthoni dam, part of the reservoir, were opened by 50 cm to release 100 cumecs of water. The water level at the time of opening was 2398.04 ft.

11:37 (IST)19 Oct 2021
Steps are on to shift people to safer locations: CM Vijayan

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said an alert has been sounded and steps are on to shift people to safer locations when dams are opened. The number of relief camps has been increased to 240.

Water Resources Minister Roshi Augustine told the media that two shutters of Idukki dam would be opened by 50 cm to release one lakh liters of water per second. “The decision was taken considering the experiences of the past. We can ease the anxiety of the people by keeping the water level down. The water level at the dam would be maintained between 2395 and 2396 ft as against the full storage level of 2403 ft. At present the water level is at 2397.56 ft. The quantity of discharge would be decided after reviewing the inflow,’’ he said.

11:09 (IST)19 Oct 2021
Evacuation has already begun in Kuttanad region

Evacuation has already begun in Kuttanad region, known for its backwater tourism, after several low-lying areas were flooded. People have been told to leave vulnerable areas in the region as the water level is set to rise following the opening of the Kakki dam in Pathanamthitta district. On Tuesday morning, another dam in Pathanamthitta, Pamba, will be opened, leading to rising water levels downstream including Kuttanad.

11:08 (IST)19 Oct 2021
Idukki: A view of the Idukki Dam as water level continued to rise in the reservoir in Iduki dam (File)

The Kerala government will open the shutters of the Idukki dam on Tuesday as the state’s largest reservoir, which accounts for more than 93 per cent of its live storage capacity, is rapidly filling up after heavy rain. On Monday, the toll from rain-related incidents rose to 38 since October 12, according to the state disaster management authority.

The state government has sounded an alert in downstream areas of the Idukki dam, including suburban areas of Kochi, and begun evacuating families that could be affected by the likely flash floods. The decision was taken after the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast heavy rain for three days beginning October 20. Read More

Kerala rains, kerala landslides, kerala news, IMD kerala forecast, Kerala weather update The death toll in the devastating landslides and flash floods climbed to 27 on Monday. (File)

Kerala braces for more rain, alert sounded in landslide-prone areas

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan called on those residing in river basins and hilly regions to be extremely vigilant. “Chances for landslide and river overflowing are very high as we have reached the fag end of southwest monsoon. People who are residing at houses, which have been earlier identified as unfit by the state disaster management authority, should immediately move to safer locations. Necessary directions have been given to district administrations to compulsorily shift people from unfit houses and those living very close to riversides,’’ he said.

The state disaster management authority has sounded an alert in landslide-prone areas in the state. In many districts, the revenue department has urged people to voluntarily move out from the hill slopes prone to landslides.

Explained: Why October’s been so rainy

The monsoon is over but several parts of the country are still receiving rainfall. Delhi, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand, for example, have received very high rainfall in the last few days, resulting in loss of life and property in some places. Delhi has just had one of its wettest 24-hour periods in several decades.

Scientists say a combination of factors — delayed monsoon and development of low-pressure areas at multiple places — have resulted in these rainfall events at several places.

Rain in October is not unusual. October is considered a month for transition, during which the southwest monsoon withdraws and gives way to the northeast monsoon that largely affects southern peninsular India, mainly on the eastern side.

Western disturbances, which begin to have significant interference in local weather over the extreme northern parts of India, commonly cause either rain or snowfall. Since late last week, Ladakh, the higher reaches of Kashmir and Uttarakhand have reported the season’s first snowfall.

Last week, two low-pressure systems were active simultaneously, one each over the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal regions. Collectively, these triggered severe weather events over Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha and West Bengal.

 

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