A high alert has been sounded in south Kerala after a low-pressure area over the Indian ocean intensified into a "deep low pressure" and lay anchored 391 km off the Thiruvananthapuram coast.
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.
The India Meteorological Department has warned of heavy rain, thundershowers and squally winds in southern coastal Kerala and Tamil Nadu over the next 48 hours. The sea will turn rough in this period and therefore fishermen have been warned from going out, the agency said. It said squally winds with speeds reaching 45-55 kph and gusting to 65 kph was likely over Comorin area and along and off south Tamil Nadu, south Kerala and Lakshadweep coasts in the next 48 hours. The secretary has called an urgent meeting to take stock of the situation.
Rainfall is forecast at a few places in Lakshadweep today and at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places tomorrow and until Thursday.
It has also forecast high waves in the 2.5 m-3.8 m range.
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Fishermen are advised not to venture into sea along and off South Tamil Nadu, Comorin-Maldives area and adjoining Equatorial Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Mannar area during this period.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Tuesday that at present it has not been predicted that the depression formed south of Kanyakumari and south west of Sri Lanka would directly affect the State.
According to IMD, the depression was likely to move north-northwestwards and intensify into a deep depression during next 48 hrs.
Meanwhile, the state's chief secretary Paul Antony met senior officers of various departments to review preparations. The district collectors will ensure that coastal relief shelters are open and Tahsildars shall keep the keys of the relief shelters, coastal control rooms will function round the clock till March 15.