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Heavy Rains Lash Kerala: 21 Dead; 'I Pray for Everyone's Safety', Tweets PM Modi

Heavy rains have been lashing the state, leaving roads at several places flooded and normal traffic affected.

Updated
India
3 min read

Heavy rains have inundated Kerala over the weekend (Saturday, 16 October and Sunday, 17 October), leading to waterlogging in several areas, as well as loss of life in some. The Indian Meteorological Department has issued warnings for all 14 districts of the state.

A young woman and her co-passenger have reportedly died in Thodupuzha, Idukki as a car got washed away.

The total death toll has reached 21 in the state, with 13 people having lost their lives due to heavy rains in Kottayam, and eight people having passed away in Idukki, reported ANI, citing the state's Information and Public Relations Department.

Since 12 October there have been 23 rains and floods related deaths in Kerala including the 21 reported between 16 and 17 October.

  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>A damaged house in Idukki.</p></div>
  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>Landslides, caused by heavy rains, have wreaked havoc in Kerala's Idukki.</p></div>
  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>Incessant downpours have damaged roads in Kottayam.</p></div>
  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>A fallen tree and waterlogged roads blocked traffic in Kottayam district.</p></div>

On Sunday evening, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi took to Twitter to share that he had discussed the situation in the state with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

"Authorities are working on the ground to assist the injured and affected. I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being."
PM Modi
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Modi also tweeted his condolences to the bereaved and pointed out that "it is saddening that some people have lost their lives due to heavy rains and landslides in Kerala."

What Is the Government Saying?

Kerala Chief Minister (CM) Pinarayi Vijayan has requested people to take all precautions against the rain.

"As per Central Water Commission, the water level in Madamon, Kalluppara, Thumpaman, Pullakayar, Manikkal, Vellaikadavu and Aruvipuram dams in Pathanamthitta, Kottayam and Thiruvananthapuram districts is rising."
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, according to ANI

Further, the CM shared that 105 relief camps have been set up across the state and arrangements have been made to start more camps.

The chief minister held a high-level meeting on Saturday to intensify the rescue efforts and said that all means will be used to evacuate people stranded in areas flooded due to heavy rain in the state, including Kottayam.

The CM has directed that camps have to be started by following COVID-19 protocol. Masks, sanitisers, drinking water, and medicines should be made available in camps, he said. Caution should be taken to protect people who have comorbidities and those who have not taken vaccination, he added.

Meanwhile, Kottayam District Collector PK Jayasree, had earlier in the day told the press that 12 bodies were recovered and post-mortem was going on.

The collector had also added: "Presently, the situation is under control. If it rains heavily at night, it will create problems... Body of one person who wasn't on the list also recovered. No other missing persons reported."

Several people were earlier feared missing in the badly-hit Kottayam district due to a landslide in Koottickal village.

Rescue and Relief

  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Kerala Fire and Rescue personnel during rescue operations at the site of landslide at Kavali in Kottayam district, Sunday, 17 October, 2021.</p></div>
  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Kerala Fire and Rescue personnel during rescue operations at the site of landslide at Kavali in Kottayam district, Sunday, 17 October, 2021.</p></div>

According to the Defence PRO, the army is carrying out rescue operations for missing persons in debris in Kavali, Kottayam.

"Navy Chopper with relief materials (are) already airborne from INS Garuda towards rain-affected areas. Two Air Force Chopper Mi-17 are on standby at AF Station, Shangumugham," Defence PRO was quoted by ANI as saying.

One Column of Army personnel from DSC Centre, Kannur with Engineering and Medical components has arrived at Wayanad for rescue operations. Engineering Task Force from Bengaluru is expected to arrive at Wayanad soon. Total three columns have been deployed by the army so far.

Home Minister Amit Shah, on his part, on Sunday, took to Twitter to say:

"Continuously monitoring the situation in parts of Kerala in the wake of heavy rainfall and flooding. The central government will provide all possible support to help people in need."

Authorities in the state have reportedly urged devotees of Lord Ayyappa to refrain from visiting the Sabarimala temple in the Pathanamthitta district on Sunday and Monday.

Meanwhile, Revenue Minister K Rajan, who also oversees the Disaster Management Department, on Saturday shared the following hotline numbers for assistance:

  • 8606883111

  • 9562103902

  • 9447108954

  • 9400006700

What Is IMD Saying?

Meanwhile, the IMD has, as per ANI, said that the spell of rainfall activity seen over Kerala and Mahe, South Interior Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal is likely to reduce from Sunday onwards. However, the IMD has also pointed out that intense spell of rainfall activity over northwest region of the country is likely to continue till 19 October, over eastern region till 20 October and over northeast region during 18-21 October.

As per the weather agency, the rains are a result of the development of a low-pressure area over southeast Arabian Sea off Kerala coast.

The Indian Meteorological Department has warned of more rains on Sunday.

(With inputs from ANI, NDTV and IANS.)

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