With floods in last two years, Kerala formulates new exigency plan amid COVID-19

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], June 2 (ANI): With monsoon arriving in Kerala and the state witnessing floods in the last two years, Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) has come up with a new strategy to set up relief camps to rehabilitate people amidst COVID-19 if an exigency arises.

Speaking to ANI, Fahad Marzook, Hazard Analyst, Meteorology, KSDMA said that the rehabilitation plan was prepared in consultation with the Health Department as this time COVID-19 situation makes the task more difficult.

"If an emergency comes, we have to take care of COVID-19 pandemic situation also. So we have proposed and the government has sanctioned a new method for setting up of relief camps in accordance with health department guidelines. Every panchayat has to identify four types of buildings for setting up of relief camps," Marzook said.

"The first type will be general camps that will be schools and institutions. For second relief camp, buildings will be identified inside the general camp for high-risk people including elderly. The third relief camp will be for people who are quarantined. The fourth camp will be for people who are symptomatic - if someone in general camp shows symptoms of COVID-19, they will be immediately shifted here," he said," he added.

Apart from identifying buildings for relief camps, KSDMA has also come up with an 'Orange Book 2020', which has guidelines and protocols to be followed in monsoon season by all the departments.

"Till now the seasonal forecast from IMD is of normal rainfall for the country this monsoon. If Kerala is getting a normal monsoon we will be safe. But still taking into account the recent pattern of extreme floods repeating in the state in 2018 and 2019, we have to be ready to meet any extreme situation," Marzook said.

"CM had convened a meeting of all line departments and central forces. On the basis of that we have issued a knowledge book- Orange Book-2020, listing out responsibilities to be undertaken by each department prior to monsoon, during monsoon season and also if an emergency situation arises. It lists out what are the protocols and procedures each department has to follow during monsoon," added Marzook. (ANI)