Heavy Rainfall and Lightning Claims Lives in Kerala; More Rain Expected

The Meteorological Center has forecasted continued heavy rainfall today and tomorrow, with the downpour expected to subside by Saturday. The rains, initially concentrated in southern Kerala, have now spread to all districts. High waves have led to a ban on fishing along the Kerala coast, and coastal residents are advised to remain vigilant due to the possibility of storm surges. The northern districts may also experience strong thunder and winds.

Yesterday, two more fatalities were reported, bringing the death toll from the rains to six. Balan, a 70-year-old from Kasaragod Nileshwar Bengalam Puthiyakandam, and Sarasan, a 62-year-old from Poothotta Puthenkavu Chingoroth, were both struck by lightning. Sarasan was reportedly returning home in a boat with hay for cattle when the incident occurred.

An orange alert has been issued for Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, and Kasaragod. Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, and Kottayam are under a yellow alert.

Looking ahead, the Meteorological Department has indicated that the monsoon will arrive early this year, with heavy rains expected in the second quarter of August. June and July are predicted to receive regular or slightly above-average rainfall. The higher surface temperature of the Indian Ocean, which is now returning to normal, is contributing to the earlier onset of the monsoon. The monsoon is expected to strengthen in August and September due to changes in the Indian Ocean dipole phenomenon, an irregular weather pattern characterized by varying surface water temperatures in the eastern and western tropics of the Indian Ocean.

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