Kerala, ravaged by the south west monsoon in August, is bracing for more rains with a low pressure area likely to form over the Southeast Arabian sea, as the state government stepped up disaster preparedness on Thursday.
Kerala's neighbour Tamil Nadu initiated preventive measures following an India Meteorological Department forecast that parts of the state may receive heavy to very heavy rainfall in most places and extremely heavy rainfall in some areas on October 7, officials said.
Karnataka government sounded an alert in 12 districts as the IMD said heavy rains were likely in South interior parts of the southern state.
An IMD bulletin said the low pressure area could intensify into a cyclonic storm, triggering heavy to very heavy rainfall in several parts of Kerala.
In view of the IMD forecast, a red alert has been sounded in Idukki and Malappuram districts with heavy rains expected on Sunday.
According to the bulletin, a cyclonic circulation over southeast Arabian Sea and adjoining Lakshadweep and Maldives areas extended ‘up to middle tropospheric level in the morning of Thursday and under its influence, a low pressure area is very likely to form over southeast Arabian Sea by October 6’.
"It is very likely to concentrate into a depression and move northwestwards during subsequent 36 hours and intensify further into a cyclonic storm and move towards Oman coast," the bulletin said.
Reviewing disaster preparedness, a meeting of Disaster Management Authority officials held in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday asked officials concerned to monitor the water levels in dams considering the forecast.
Shutters of dams in Thrissur and Palakaad districts were lifted this evening to drain out excess water.
The sea condition is also expected to be very rough from saturday and fishermen have been warned not to venture into deep sea.
The state had witnessed the fury of the southwest monsoon in August, the worst in the last 100 years, which claimed 493 lives and swamped several districts.
Officials in Chennai said District Collectors in Tamil Nadu have been instructed to take required precautionary action, adding meetings have already been called to review northeast monsoon preparedness.
Deputy Director General of Meteorology, Chennai, S Balachandran told reporters at Chennai that rains were likely in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the next three days, with the possibility of heavy rainfall in one or two places.
Many areas in the state, including Chennai, and neighbouring union territory of Puducherry received rains in the last 24 hours with some parts receiving heavy showers, he said.
Most educational institutions in the union territory remained closed Thursday in view of the intermittent rains which started on Wednesday night, officials said.
Water logging was reported in some residential areas on the outskirts of the town. Traffic came to a standstill at some important junctions, they added.
A report from Bengaluru quoting officials said the state government has asked the deputy commissioners of Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Shivamogga, Chikkamagaluru, Kodagu, Hassan, Chitradurga, Davanagere, Ballari, Mysuru, Chamarajanagara and Belagavi districts to take precautions in view of the IMD alert.
The state too had suffered large scale destruction during the south west monsoon in several districts, including Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi, during August.