Bengaluru: Kerala was on high alert following vey heavy rains due to the formation of cyclone Maha in the Arabian Sea on Thursday. The India Meteorological Department has issued an orange alert for five districts in the state.

According to the latest update from IMD orange alert is in five districts: Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Malappuram and Kozhikode districts. According to local news reports, normal life in many places in the state has been thrown out of gear.

No major casualty has been reported so far. The state government has cautioned tourists against travelling to beaches and opened a control room.

Heavy rains caused a minor landslide near a railway line in Parassala, while in Ernakulam’s Fort Kochi, ten fishing boats were destroyed in the high tide.

The cyclone, unlikely to make a landfall in Kerala, is expected to intensify, with wind speeds of 90-140km per hour accompanied torrential rains along the state's coastal regions. Authorities evacuated 140 families from Edavanakkad fishing village in Ernakulam district on Thursday.

Kerala has had a spate of weather disasters in the recent past. The state battled its worst drought in 100 years in 2017, and the worst floods ever in 2018. So far in 2019, it has seen heavy rains, floods, and two back-to-back cyclones.

"During the last 24 hours, very heavy rains lashed southern districts of Kerala...Sea conditions continued to remain very rough for another consecutive day with gusty winds and high waves," private weather forecaster Skymet said.

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