The Kerala state disaster management authority (SDMA) announced on Thursday that fishing will be banned near the coast of the state till May 17 in wake of a low pressure area over southeast Arabian Sea and the adjacent Lakshadweep area which is like to intensify into a cyclonic storm by May 16 (Sunday). Named ‘Tauktae’, it will be the first cyclonic storm of 2021.
Officials told news agency PTI on Wednesday that a fisherman from Anchuthengu – a coastal town in Thiruvananthapuram district – died after he was struck by lightning while fishing on Tuesday night.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday also advised fishermen to not venture into the sea and added that the state will witness heavy rainfall in the next few days. “Extremely heavy rainfall has been predicted in the next few days by the IMD. Yellow and Orange alerts have been issued in several districts from May 14-16,” the chief minister’s office (CMO) tweeted.
According to a list shared by the state government, yellow alert has been issued for the capital city Thiruvananthapuram and Malappuram, while Kollam, Idukki, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts have been placed under the orange alert.
CM Vijayan also urged everyone to follow safety guidelines issued by the Kerala SDMA. The state disaster management authority has urged all those living in coastal areas and landslide prone areas to exercise precautions. Authorities have been ordered to open up relief camps in adherence to all coronavirus disease (Covid-19) protocols, PTI reported. People have been advised by the SDMA to avoid travelling in high-range (hilly) areas during night time.
In view of the cyclonic storm, Vijayan requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately provide at least 300 metric tonnes (MT) of oxygen to Kerala from neighbouring storage points in order to increase the storage of the life saving gas in hospitals treating Covid-19 patients. In a letter addressed to PM Modi, the chief minister said that due to the cyclonic storm, there might be disruptions in the electricity supply to oxygen concentrator plants and filling stations. Road transport will also get disrupted “which would impede timely oxygen supply necessary to save lives”, he said in the letter to the Prime Minister.