India's meteorological department issues heavy rain alerts for Kerala state

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Authorities advised fishermen living on the coast of Kerala and Lakshadweep area not to venture into the sea after the prevalent rough conditions.

NEW DELHI, July 20 (Xinhua) -- As monsoons intensified in India's southern state of Kerala, the water level in major rivers has increased triggering a flood-like situation, officials said on Saturday.

Last year, massive floods hit the state, wreaking large scale destruction, after which the Indian government declared it a calamity of severe nature.

India's state-run broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) said so far two persons have died in rain-related incidents in the state.

Meanwhile, the local government has set up control rooms across all districts and declared holiday for all educational institutions in Kasargod district.

In the wake of the incessant rains, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued alerts for some districts in the state for the next several days.

As heavy rains lashed several parts, a flood-like situation has emerged in Kozhikode district, Kannur and a few other pockets. Reports said at many areas, rafts were used for commuting after roads were inundated with rainwater.

"Seven fishermen are reported to be missing from Kollam and Vizhinjam coastal region," the broadcaster said.

"Heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places with extremely heavy falls at isolated places very likely over Kerala and other places until July 24," an IMD official said. "An alert has been sounded in Kasargod district, Idukki, Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Wayanad to advise officials there is a need to take action."

In Idukki, following the alert, one shutter of the Kallarkutty Dam has been opened after heavy rains lashed the catchment area.

Indian states of Assam and Bihar are currently battling floods, which have displaced millions and killed over 100 people.