Cyclone Burevi : people in vulnerable areas evacuated

With Thiruvananthapuram likely to be in the path of Cyclone Burevi, the district administration has begun evacuating people in vulnerable regions to safe locations and announced the formation of a rapid response team for relief activities in the city region.

District Collector Navjot Khosa also urged the public not to venture outside unless absolutely necessary for 48 hours from Friday. A 20-member team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has arrived in the district. The administration has also sought the assistance of the armed forces, Ms. Khosa said.

Expected to make landfall in south Tamil on Friday morning, the weather system – possibly as a deep depression – could pass through Thiruvananthapuram district as well, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said on Wednesday, citing IMD projections. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has put the district on red alert for extremely heavy rainfall on Thursday, orange alert for heavy to very heavy rainfall on Friday and yellow alert for isolated heavy rainfall on Saturday.

The Revenue Department has arranged 180 relief camps in the district, which can accommodate 11,050 people if the need arises. Thiruvananthapuram taluk has 48 camps which can accommodate 1,550 people. Chirayinkeezhu taluk has 30 camps for accommodating 1,800 people while Varkala has 46 camps (accommodation for 600 people), Nedumangad, 19 camps (for 3,800 people), Kattakada, 12 camps (for 1,000 people) and Neyyattinkara, 25 camps (for 2,300 people).

The District Collector urged people residing in regions prone to rain-related calamities including flooding to move to safer locations.

All fishers who had set out to sea from Thiruvananthapuram district are back safely, the Collector said. The administration has advised the public to avoid beaches and water bodies including rivers and hilly areas. People have also been advised to avoid travel after 5 p.m.

Led by the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, a rapid response team with ten members will be prepared to tackle emergencies round-the-clock. A total of 150 volunteers also will be available for relief activities. Four excavators and high power jet pumps have been arranged for tackling waterlogging in the city area. Anticipating damage to electrical utilities, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) also has formed rapid action forces at the circle level.

All public healthcare centres in the district, including district and taluk hospitals, will function 24 hours in view of the cyclone alert, District Medical Officer K. S. Shinu said. The assistance of the private hospitals also has been sought, he said. A 24-hour control room has been opened in the District Medical Office (0471-2466828) which the public can contact for assistance. Steps have also been taken to ensure the availability of health workers and doctors till the crisis passes.

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