Heavy rains lashed many parts of Kerala on Monday disrupting the assembly by-election being held in Ernakulam, one of the five seats where polling is being held, and affecting trains services in the state.
The India Meteorological Dept (IMD) has issued orange alert issued for Monday in 12 districts, including Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alapuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad.
“Stay weather aware. Inclement weather is very likely across the State. Prepare for more downpours. Orange alerts have been issued for districts from Thiruvananthapuram to Wayanad. Kannur and Kasargod are under yellow alert,” chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office tweeted.
Many polling booths in Ernakulam were submerged and political parties have asked the Election Commission to postpone the election.
“We are closely monitoring the situation. In Ernakulam, at least 12 polling stations were shifted. All options are open,” said state chief electoral officer Tikaram Meena.
By-elections are being held in Vattiyoorkavu assembly constituency in Thiruvananthapuram, Konni in Pathanamthitta, Aroor in Alapuzha, Ernakulam and Manjeshwar in Kasaragod.
The rains have prompted the state’s chief secretary Tom Jose to call an emergency meeting in the afternoon to review the situation.
Several long-distance trains were stopped at many places. In Ernakulam, train services were suspended after tracks were submerged and water entered the Ernakulam junction railway station.
At least six districts have announced holiday for educational institutions in view of the inclement weather. People living in low-lying areas and landslide-prone places have been advised to shift to safer places.
The met department said a low-pressure in the Arabian Sea is getting strengthened and it is likely to intensify in the next two days. Rains are likely to be accompanied by strong winds and lightning.