Thiruvananthapuram | Jagran News Desk: At least six people lost their lives while a dozen went missing after heavy rains lead to flash floods and landslides in several parts of Kerala, forcing Chief Minister and Left Democratic Front (LDF) chief Pinarayi Vijayan to seek assistance from Indian Armed Forces.

According to officials, one death was reported in Thodupuzha while four others lost their lives in Kottayam and Idduki districts. Though the rescue teams are struggling to help people in affected areas due to the prevailing weather conditions, the state government has said that the situation is under control, urging people not to panic.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that heavy to very heavy rainfall would continue in Kerala over the next 24 hours and has issued a red alert for Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki and Thrissur districts. It has also issued an orange alert for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad districts.

"Under the influence of the Low pressure area over Southeast Arabian Sea off Kerala coast, Kerala is expected to receive isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy falls till the morning of October 17. Isolated heavy rainfall is expected on 18th and further reduction in rainfall from 19th morning," said the IMD in a statement.

Following the warning from the IMD, the Kerala government has postponed the reopening of colleges in the southern state to October 20. It has also announced that Sabarimala pilgrimage will be avoided till October 19.

"People living on river banks and below the dam area should be vigilant and follow the instructions given by the authorities. Do not enter into the water bodies for any reason. Trips to high range areas should be avoided as much as possible. Those who are living in areas prone to mud slides and landslides should take extreme caution," said Chief Minister Vijayan in a post on Facebook.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma