Thiruvananthapuram, As Kerala continues to reel under hot weather conditions, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday held a meeting to assess the possibilities of heat waves in the state and issued several instructions including the closure of educational institutions until May 6. In an online meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority that was attended by District Collectors, the CM also issued directions with regard to the monsoon season, according to an official statement. With the India Meteorological Department issuing a yellow alert for Alappuzha, Palakkad, Thrissur, and Kozhikode districts due to an anticipated heatwave, Vijayan urged residents to refrain from direct sunlight exposure between 11 am and 3 pm on Thursday and Friday. He directed that those working during these hours, like construction workers, farmers, hawkers, etc should adjust their work timings accordingly, holiday classes should be avoided between 11 am to 3 p.m., and daytime parades and drills should not be held at training centres of police, fire brigade and other forces, said the statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office . The CM said that educational institutions, including professional colleges, will remain closed until May 6. Additionally, he directed that audits should be carried out in areas prone to fires like markets, buildings, waste collection and storage facilities, hospitals, and major government institutions. Following instructions from the forest department to avoid forest fires, grazing cattle under the midday sun, and ensuring drinking water in tribal hamlets and habitations were the other directions issued in the meeting, according to the statement. According to the IMD, maximum temperatures are very likely to be around 40 degrees Celsius in Palakkad, around 39 degrees Celsius in Kollam, Thrissur, and Kozhikode, about 38 degrees Celsius in Alappuzha, Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, and Kannur, and around 37 degrees Celsius in the remaining districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Malappuram, and Kasaragod from Thursday till May 6. With regard to the monsoon-related preparedness, the CM directed the holding of a meeting under the leadership of the collector in the presence of the minister in-charge of the district to discuss the matters to be done first as part of the pre-rains cleaning work, it said. Local self-government bodies should start pre-monsoon cleaning on an urgent basis in order to clear blockages in drains, culverts, and small canals before the onset of the rains, he directed. Not allowing garbage to pile up, ensuring mosquito control, preparing buildings to be used as relief camps, releasing excess water from rivers and canals into the ocean, and clearing obstructions from the regulators and spillways of dams were the other directions issued by Vijayan in the meeting, the CMO statement said. Besides that, he also ordered that trees, branches, hoardings and posts that may pose a danger to people should be removed before the rains. Hazard warnings should be displayed at tourist attractions and awareness created among the public living in hilly areas prone to landslides, he added.

Kerala CM orders closure of educational institutions amid heatwave preparations

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