As the monsoon strengthened in the southern state of Kerala, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Saturday issued a red alert in the Kasargod district for today and an orange alert for Idukki, Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Wayanad districts.

A red alert has been issued for the districts of Kozhikode and Wayanad for 21 July and 22 July and an orange alert for Malappuram and Kannur districts for tomorrow.

Meanwhile, one shutter of Kallarkutty Dam situated in Idukki district has been opened following heavy rains in the catchment area.

Thrissur District Collector S Shanavas has ordered the opening of Peringalkuthu Dam shutter for safety, after the weather department issued warning for the next two days for a possibility of an increase in the water level in Chalakudy river – which overflowed during the floods last year in the state, causing massive destruction to life and property.

Heavy rains lashed several parts of Kerala for the second day on Friday as the southwest monsoon intensified in the state after a period of lull.

According to the IMD, some places in Kozhikode and Idukki recorded around 14 cm rainfall in the past 24 hours ended at 8.30 am Friday.

Some places in Malappuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam and Kottayam districts received rainfall of over 12 cm, it said.

Minor landslips briefly affected traffic on the Ettumanoor-Peerumedu Road in Idukki district.

Pilgrims visiting the famous Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district, which has been opened for the five-day monthly pooja, have been facing difficulties due to incessant rain.

“Due to heavy rain since yesterday, the Pamba area was flooded. But now the water is receding,” said a top official in-charge of Disaster Management Authority in Pathanamthitta district.

Landslides were reported in the Ettumanoor-Peerumedu Road which was cleared by the authorities concerned within an hour, after which it was opened for traffic.

Idukki District Collector H Dineshan told PTI all precautions to deal with any situation have been taken.

With the southwest monsoon intensifying, the IMD has issued orange and yellow alerts across various districts in the state.

A yellow alert was earlier issued for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Kasargod districts.

The State Disaster Management Authority has asked all the departments to open control rooms at Taluk headquarters.

Meanwhile, four fishermen who went to sea from Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram district have not yet returned.

Last year, Kerala braved the worst floods in nearly a century that left some 370 people dead, more than a million people homeless and caused widespread destruction.

(With PTI inputs)