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Heatwave threat: IMD issues orange alert in Kerala’s Palakkad

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, April 29: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday sounded an ‘orange alert’ in Kerala’s Palakkad district due to the possibility of a heatwave.

The state government has announced the closure of educational institutions in Palakkad and have instructed people to be cautious during hot days.

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The weather agency also issued a ‘yellow alert’ in some areas of Kollam and Thrissur districts in the wake of scorching heat and due to the possible threat of a heatwave, the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) said.

The IMD predicted that the temperature in Palakkad, Kollam, and Thrissur districts was likely to soar up to 41 degrees Celsius and 40 degrees Celsius, respectively, from April 29 to May 3.

In view of rising temperatures, Palakkad District Collector S Chitra directed the educational institutions except medical college to remain closed in the district till May 2.

The weatherman also said the temperature in Kozhikode district is likely to soar up to 39 degrees Celsius.

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As per the warning issued by the IMD, the maximum temperature in Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, and Kannur districts was likely to go up to 38 degrees Celsius, and in Ernakulam, Malappuram and Kasaragod, up to 37 degrees Celsius from April 29 to May 3.

The meteorological department uses four colour codes – green (no action needed), yellow (watch and stay updated), orange (be prepared) and red (take action)- for weather warning.

In the wake of the continuing hot weather, the KSDMA warned against the possibility of fire outbreaks in markets, buildings and dumping yards in the above districts.

Fire audits should be conducted, and proper safety precautions should be taken to avert any danger, the agency said.

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There is also a possibility of forest fires due to increasing heat, so tourists and people living in forest fringe areas should exercise caution, the KSDMA added.

Meanwhile, state Labour Minister V Sivankutty said the rescheduled working hours of labourers during the day have been extended till May 15 in the wake of a steady increase in temperature and due to the possible threat of a heatwave.

Strict action would be taken against the employer if labourers were found to be working during the day hours from 12 pm to 3.00 pm, he said.

The minister also directed Labour Commissioner Arjun Pandian to take steps to conduct strict inspections at all work places in the state and to take action against violations.

State Health Minister Veena George cautioned on Monday that intense heat may cause serious health issues like sunstroke, sunburn, and dehydration.

Children, elderly people, pregnant women, and those suffering from serious health issues should pay extra vigil, she said.

The health minister also took stock of the general situation prevailing in the state in the wake of the steady increase in temperatures.

Authorities also advised the public to take umbrellas while going out and drink lot of water to prevent dehydration.

Among many directives, they also urged people to avoid going out during the day as much as possible and postpone all public events to the evening. (PTI)







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