A year after the devastating deluge, Kerala is once again being battered by heavy rains with landslips and floods wreaking havoc claiming eight lives Thursday, 8 August, while over 9,500 people have been shifted to relief camps.
As 'red alert' has been sounded in four districts and torrential rains submerged low-lying areas leaving people stranded in houses and isolated places, the state government sought the help of Army and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for rescue mission.
Massive Landslip In Wayanad
A massive landslip has been reported from Meppadi in the hilly Wayanad district where, according to a legislator, a temple, church, couple of houses and a few vehicles have come under soil and several people feared missing.
Kalpeta MLA C K Saseendran said the place where the landslip happened was inaccessible due to other similar cave-ins along the road.
“Landslide has happened at many places in Wayanad district. We came to know that a temple, a church, couple of houses and a few vehicles were hit in a massive landslide. The trouble with that place is that it’s quite inaccessible. I am trying to reach there.The roads are blocked due to landslips. We are worried. We are not able to share much details due to lack of information,”C K Saseendran, Kalpeta MLA
According to IMD sources, an alert has been sounded in northern districts of Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and central Kerala district Idukki
"Army swung into action for the disaster relief and rescue operations in the flood-hit Wayanad and Coorg District of Tamil Nadu... One column consists of one Officer, three Junior Commissioned Officers and 55 other ranks," a defence release said.
CM Chairs Emergency Meeting
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who chaired an emergency meeting on 8 August to take stock of the situation, said the state should be prepared for more downpour.
The chief minister's office has directed district collectors to evacuate people from danger-prone areas.
“We have requested more NDRF teams to be sent to the state. Already two teams have been sent to Nilambur and Idukki,” a CMO release said. All exams by the Kerala Public Service Commission and various Universities across the state, scheduled for tomorrow, have been postponed, officials said.
A holiday has been declared for all educational institutions in most of the northern districts including Kannur, Wayand and Malappuram, authorities said.
A report from Kochi said Irrigation department issued an alert, asking people living on the banks of river Periyar including Aluva, to be more vigilant as water level was rising due to heavy rains.
Water entered the famous Lord Shiva temple situated on the bank of Periyar, authorities said. During last years flood, many areas in Aluva were cut off from the mainland.
The department said water level at Bhoothathankettu rose continuously and it has already reached the level of 32.40 m. Reports from Kottayam district said many areas including Pala, Erattupetta and Mundakkayam are under flood threat.
Death Toll at 36 Since Monsoon Began
According to disaster management authorities, a total of 13 NDRF team would be deployed for rescue operations and five teams are already out on the mission.
Besides the road transport, train service was also disrupted across the state with most of the trains getting delayed by nearly five hours.
“We have cancelled all the passenger trains. Almost all trains are running late due to heavy downpour in Kerala,”Railway PRO
A one year-old girl child, who was killed following landslide in high range Idukki, was among the four people who lost lives in rain-related incidents.
A 26-year-old woman from Odisha, Manju Krishna, who was injured after a tree fell on the house where she was staying, died in Idukki.
Padmanabhan (58) drowned when he fell into a stream in Kannur while a 50-year-old man lost life in a tribal hamlet Attappadi in Palakkad district.
With this, the toll has risen to 36 since Monsoon began on June 6, official sources said adding 156 relief camps have been opened across the state so far.
The state government has asked tourists not to travel to high range areas including Idukki while restrictions have been imposed in Ponmudi, a hill station near here.
Houses Destroyed Due To Strong Winds
Water level is rising in most of the rivers and dams across the state with Kannur, Wayanad, Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kasaragod districts facing a flood-like situation.
Major rivers like Manimala, Meenachal, Moovattupuzha, Chaliyar, Valapattanam, Iruvazjinjpuzha and Pamba are in spate.
A large number of houses were completely damaged in heavy rains and strong winds which lashed the state since Wednesday.
Nilambur, a major town in Malappuram district, has been flooded, with water level rising up to the first floor of many buildings. Only roof of shops and houses could be seen in many parts of the submerged town, where people had to use country-made boats and large metal vessels to row to safety.
Parked cars and other vehicles were completely submerged and nearly 200 families have been shifted to 10 relief camps.
In high-range Wayanad, which had witnessed heavy loss in the August floods last year, 16 relief camps have been opened and over 2,300 people have been shifted.
A landslide was reported from Chappamala at Iritty taluk in Kannur district. Around 50 families have been evacuated from the taluk, where most places are submerged, since Wednesday night.
Several villages in the hilly areas of Taliparamba in the district were also flooded and evacuation process is underway, a Kannur revenue official said. Munnar, a high range tourist destination in Idukki district has been receiving heavy downpour with the IMD recording 19.4 cms of rain as per the latest report.
(Updates have been collated from PTI)
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