Kerala News: Kerala, already soaked by rain, is forecast to receive more rain from Wednesday onward. IMD predicts extremely heavy to very heavy rains in the Eastern Ghat belt and hills of the state.
First time in Kerala, the government is in the process of evacuating people in landslide-prone areas in the eastern hills, while fishermen are being hired by district administrations to help evacuate people from low-lying districts.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged people living near rivers and in hills to be extremely vigilant. Due to the end of the southwest monsoon, the chances for landslides and river overflows are very high. Residents of houses that the state disaster management authority has previously identified as unsafe should move to safer areas immediately. We have instructed the district administrations to compulsorily relocate people who live in unfit houses and those living near riversides,” he said.
An alert has been sounded in landslide-prone areas of the state by the state disaster management authority. People in many districts have been encouraged to move away from slopes prone to landslides by the revenue department.
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Last week, landslides and flooding severely affected the district of Kottayam. 33 areas in the district have been identified as landslide-prone.
According to Dr. P K Jayasree, the District Collector for the area, the Geological Survey of India has identified these landslide-prone areas, so people in these areas should seek safer ground. “We will take steps to evacuate them to camps if they don’t move out voluntarily,” she said.
After the water level rose above the danger mark, shutters were opened on four dams including three on Idukki reservoir. Water from Idukki will be released into the Periyar River, which will flow downstream to Ernakulam and Idukki. People living in low-lying areas and river basins are being relocated to relief camps since dams are being opened and heavy rains are forecast.
Jafar Malik, the Ernakulam District Collector, said, “The water will reach Aluva in Ernakulam by midnight when it is released from Idukki reservoir.” Water levels are unlikely to rise significantly if there is no rain. The situation could change at any moment due to heavy rains.”