The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) declared Code Red alerts in three districts of Kerala and Lakshadweep on Friday and five districts on Saturday, fearing the likely formation of Cyclone Tauktae in the Arabian Sea. The IMD has indicated extremely heavy rains.
“A low pressure area has formed over southeast Arabian Sea and adjoining Lakshadweep area today. It is very likely to become well-marked over Lakshadweep area by May14th morning, concentrate into a depression over the same region by 15th morning and intensify into a cyclonic storm during the subsequent 24 hours. It is very likely to intensify further and move north-northwestwards towards Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coasts. It is likely to reach Gujarat coasts around May 18th evening,” the special bulletin of the IMD said Thursday evening.
Cyclone Tauktae: IMD issues red alert
The IMD issued a red alert for Friday in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Pathanamthitta districts as well as Lakshadweep. An orange alarm was also sounded in four districts of central Kerala – Ernakulam, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Idukki – indicating occasional heavy to very heavy rains.
The department has also issed a red alert for Saturday in five districts of north Kerala – Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, Wayanad and Kasaragod. Also, it has put an orange alert in place in seven districts and Lakshadweep.
IMD predicted “rough to very rough” sea conditions from May 13-14, as well as strong winds ranging from 40-50 kmph to 60 kmph over the southeast Arabian Sea and the Lakshadweep coast. A Tidal wave of about 1 meter height above the astronomical tide is likely to flood low-lying areas of the Lakshadweep Islands on May 15-16. The fishermen were told not to venture out to sea during this time.
District administrations have ordered the opening of flood relief camps near coastal and low-lying areas with existing Covid-19 protocols. Separate arrangements will be in place for residents, those under quarantine, and those who tested positive for COVID-19.
A relief camp has been opened at the St Mary’s school In Ernakulam district’s Chellanam, a coastal village which has faced heavy sea erosion over several years. Elderly people and pregnant women have been shifted their relatives’ homes.