Kerala on high alert after warning of depression over Arabian Sea

Thiruvananthapuram, March 13 Authorities in Kerala have been placed on alert and fishermen advised not to venture into the sea after Met reports on the formation of a depression over southeast Arabian Sea and adjoining area moving slightly north-westwards, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday. "The India Meteorological Department has said a depression has been formed about 350 km from Thiruvananthapuram and it could very likely move north-westwards and intensify further into a deep depression. However, the saving grace is it is unlikely that Kerala will be hit directly.  "Warnings have been issued that under no circumstances should fishermen venture out into the sea till March 15," Vijayan told the media here. He said all district Collectors have been alerted on the issue and elaborate arrangements put in place. Officials have been asked to be ready and, if necessary, coastal relief shelters would be opened at short notice. State police chief Loknath Behra told the media that Kerala was fully geared to meet any eventuality. "All police officials are seized of the gravity of the situation and have been asked to be fully prepared to face any crisis, if it happens," said Behra. Senior IMD official S. Sudevan said there could be a possibility of strong winds also and said all weather warnings have been send out to all officials concerned.