Cyclone Burevi will also affect Kerala says India Meteorological Department (IMD). The cyclone is expected to cause widespread rainfall across Sri Lanka over the next two days. The IMD has forecast extremely heavy rains and strong winds in the state in coming hours with red, orange and yellow alerts issued in various districts.
A red alert has been issued in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts on December 3 and on yellow alert on December 5. The cyclone is predicted to pass through the Neyyatinkara region in Thiruvananthapuram district. An orange alert has been issued for December 3 in Kottayam, Ernakulam and Idukki.
IMD tweeted, “Cyclone Warning for South TN & South Kerala coasts: ‘Burevi’ over SW BoB to cross Sri Lanka coast on 2nd evening/night. To emerge into Gulf of Mannar on 3rd. To cross south TN coast between Kanniyakumari and Pamban during 3rd night and 4th early morning as CS (Sic).”
The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) has issued warning in the wake of IMD forecast and asked public and government systems to exercise caution.
With memories of Cyclone Okhi, which caused havoc exactly three years ago, KSDMA authorities have sprung to action with fishermen warned not to venture in to sea.
The Thiruvananthapuram District Collector has ordered 48 village panchayats in the district to be vigilant. People living in low-lying areas and landslide prone areas have been instructed to shift to safer places or relief camps. However, if people have to be moved to camps, it should follow Covid-19 protocols. People are encouraged to keep their mobile phones on full charge and call toll-free number 1077 for queries and assistance.
While tourism activities will restricted, the public has been instructed to avoid travelling to hilly areas. Trips to beaches should be avoided too.
The government has encouraged everyone to keep their emergency kits with them and not fall victim to fake news and rumours.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has urged people to be vigilant. The Navy, Coastal Guard and Air Force have been requested to prepare their ships and helicopters for rescue operations. Seven National Rescue Disaster Force teams have been requested from the Centre with other central forces directed to stay alert. According to Pinarayi, smaller dams may be opened.
Cyclone Burevi is the second cyclone formed in the southwest region of the Bay of Bengal within a week. The cyclone, which has been named by the Maldives, is said to cross Sri Lanka’s coast by tonight. IMD said, “It is highly likely to move nearly west-north westwards thereafter, emerge into Gulf of Mannar and adjoining Comorin area on December 3 morning.”
Heavy rains are also expected in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south coastal Andhra Pradesh till December 3. In fact, according to Pradeep John R, who runs Tamil Nadu Weatherman, southern districts in Tamil Nadu such as Theni, Kanyakumari, Thenkasi, Virudhunagar, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Ramanathapuram districts need to be cautious. “Coonoor, Kodaikanal, Papanasam and Manjolai areas need a closer watch for heavy rains. Delta districts (Nagai, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur), Pudukottai and Sivangangai will also get heavy rains from December 2 to 5,” he stated on his blog.
He goes on to add in his post, “Trivandrum, Pathanamthitta, Kollam and Alappuzha in South Kerala will fall in the path of heavy rains. Trivandrum and Kollam, in particular, has a chance of very very heavy rains. Trivandrum will also see gusty winds of 50 km/hr.”