Kerala govt issues fresh cyclone alert as depression likely to intensify

Kerala sounds alert for fishermen as low pressure intensifies

Kerala sounds alert for fishermen as low pressure intensifies

"Squally winds speed reaching 45 kmph to 55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph is very likely over ComorinMaldive area, south Kerala and south Tamilnadu coasts", the IMD said in its latest bulletin.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said alert in the state in connection with the depression was extended till Thursday in the wake of the IMD updates.

The well-marked low-pressure area over Equatorial Indian Ocean has intensified into a depression 390 km South-South-West of Thiruvananthapuram and is on course for another round of strengthening. The depression over southeast Arabian Sea adjoining equatorial Indian Ocean has moved towards north-northwestwards with a speed of about 20 kmph. State chief secretary has alerted all the departments including fisheries, police, coast guard and district collectors based on the IMD and KSDMA forecast. All coastal taluk control rooms will work round the clock till March 15 and coastal relief shelters will be open.

The chief minister had instructed officers concerned to ensure that no fishermen ventured out to sea.

Warning that waves would be around 3 mts high and wind speeds would be anywhere from 40-60 kmph in the next 48 hours, the Indian Meterological Department said that it is not safe for fishermen to be out in the seas.

The depression deepened around 8:30 am on Tuesday and the State Disaster Management Committee along with the government issued a warning to fishermen along the coast. Forecast indicates rain or thundershower at many places on Tuesday and isolated heavy showers are expected over south Kerala on March 14 and across Kerala on March 15. Cyclone Ockhi also raised questions about the government's preparedness to deal with major natural calamities.

Last year, cyclone Ockhi has barrelled into the Lakshwadeep islands after drenching the neighboring states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

"While the south of Kerala will see heavy rainfall in the immediate 48 hours, North Kerala will experience rain on after 48 hours", said Sudevan.

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