Thiruvananthapuram, May 15: Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan today informed that heavy rains and gusty winds due to Cyclone Tauktae battered several parts of the State although the epicentre of the cyclone was moving north from the Kerala coast. Meanwhile, 71 relief camps have been opened across the state to provide succour to those affected by sea erosion.

Briefing the media, the Chief Minister said, “The impact of the cyclone is expected to last in the State for the next 24 hours even as the Central Meteorological Department has issued red alerts in several districts. The state is receiving widespread rainfall and two days of torrential rains and strong winds have wreaked havoc across the state. According to the Meteorological Department, the average rainfall in Kerala during the last two days is 145.5 mm. Heavy rainfall was recorded in most parts of the state. Strong winds are expected in the northern districts tonight as part of the cyclone and these winds pose great danger. Most accidents in the last two days were caused by the uprooting of trees.

Giving details about the relief camps, the CM said, “71 relief camps have been set up in the state. currently, these camps house 2,094 people from 543 families. Of these, 821 were men, 850 women and 423 children. There are 672 persons in 19 camps in Thiruvananthapuram district, 187 persons in 10 camps in Kollam district, 214 persons in 10 camps in Alappuzha district and 653 persons in 17 camps in Ernakulam district. There are 24 people in 2 camps in Kottayam, 232 people in 7 camps in Thrissur, 53 people in 3 camps in Malappuram and 59 persons in 3 camps in Kozhikode district.”

These relief camps have been set up following the guidelines of the Disaster Management Authority. Special accommodation will be provided for the sick and those in quarantine. Those in camps should follow Covid protocol as much as possible. Steps will be taken to provide testing facilities for those arriving at the camp.

Meanwhile, two deaths, one each in Ernakulam and Kozhikode districts have been reported so far in the last two days due to the severe natural calamities in the State.

The Central Water Commission had issued a flood warning in the wake of rising water levels in rivers like Manimala and Achankovil. If the heavy rains continue, then the water level is likely to rise to dangerous levels. Therefore, those living along the river should be vigilant. Severe sea swelling has created a major crisis in the coastal region and nine districts in the State have been affected by this. The rough seas are expected to continue for few more days due to the impact of the cyclone.