State on high alert as Cyclone Burevi closes in

Govt. machinery activated in seven southern districts

With the deep depression over the southwest Bay of Bengal intensifying into a cyclone (Burevi), preparations are in full swing in the State for tackling weather-related emergencies.

The government machinery has been activated on a war footing in the seven southern districts. In addition to this, eight teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will be positioned in these districts by Wednesday noon.

One team each will be deployed in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Alappuzha, and Ernakulam while Idukki will have two teams, officials of the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) said.

Forces on standby

The Army, Navy, Air Force and the Coast Guard also have been asked to remain on stand-by to handle emergencies.

The southern districts are bracing for heavy to extremely heavy rainfall and lashing winds induced by the cyclone, which is expected to cross the Sri Lankan coast by Wednesday night with wind speeds touching 75-85 kmph and gusting to 95 kmph.

Advancing westward, the weather system will emerge into the Gulf of Mannar and Kanyakumari region by Thursday morning. By early Friday morning, it is expected to cross the south Tamil Nadu coast between Kanyakumari and Pamban, IMD officials here said.

Relief camps

The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) has directed the departments of Revenue, Police, Fire and Rescue Services, Fisheries, Irrigation, Power, and Local Self-Government to make the necessary arrangements on a war footing.

Instructions have been issued to prepare relief camps by Wednesday in locations prone to landslips, flooding, and coastal erosion.

Sections of the public included in the vulnerable groups in the Orange Book of Disaster Management of the KSDMA will, if needed, be evacuated in advance to safe locations.

Fishing activities also have been suspended till Friday.

โ€œKerala can expect strong winds and heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy rainfall from Wednesday. Kanyakumari, the Kerala coast, Lakshadweep, and the Maldives region are likely to experience strong winds and rough sea conditions,โ€ IMD Met Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, Director K. Santhosh said in an update.

Red, orange alerts

As per the updated weather advisory, red alert for extremely heavy rainfall has been issued for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, and Alappuzha on Thursday.

Orange alert for heavy to very heavy rainfall has been issued for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Idukki on Wednesday; Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki on Thursday; and Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam and Idukki on Friday.

Yellow alert has been issued for Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Palakkad on Wednesday; Thrissur and Palakkad on Thursday and Friday; and the seven southern districts on Saturday.

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