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Kerala rain fury: Toll 22, schools shut, Kochi airport closed till Sunday

Heavy rain continued to pound many parts of the state for the second consecutive day, causing landslides and widespread destruction.

Published: 09th August 2019 03:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th August 2019 02:39 PM   |  A+A-

Kerala rains

People evacuating their places in flood water in the heavy rain at Thengilakkadavu area in Kozhikode. (Photo | Manu R Mavelil, EPS)

By Express News Service

As heavy rains continued to batter various parts of Kerala, 22 people have lost their lives with over 22,000 people being shifted to relief centres.

Red alert has been issued in nine districts with the worst affected being Wayanad, Malappuram, Kannur and Idukki.

KERALA RAINS HIGHLIGHTS

  • Helpline numbers issued

  • Kochi airport operations suspended till Sunday

  • Red alert issued in 9 districts

  • Holiday declared for schools

  • 12 trains cancelled

  • Landslides, mud-slips reported from 24 places including Vilangad, Wayanad

  • Kakkayam dam shutters to be raised further

  • Periyar on the verge of overflowing; Aluva on high alert

ALSO READ: Kerala rains - Kochi International airport suspends operations till Sunday


Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who chaired a high-level meeting Friday morning to review the situation, told reporters that 22 people have died in the heavy rains in the last three days.

Landslides and mud-slips have been reported from 24 places, he said.

"In Mepaddi in Wayanad, which witnessed the biggest landslide on Thursday evening, the area between two hills areas was completely washed away," Vijayan said.

The government has sought the assistance of the Indian Air Force.

Personnel of the NDRF, Police, Fire force and Forest officials are engaged in rescue operations.

Meppadi in Wayanad and Nilambur in Malappuram are among the worst-hit areas, he said.

To help in the rescue operations, 13 teams of NDRF personnel and around 180 Army officials have already reached the state.

Kerala government has declared a holiday for all schools across the state on Friday,

Train traffic has been disrupted in the state due to the ongoing heavy downpour. Indian Railway has informed that 12 trains have been cancelled.

Cancelled trains include

  • Ernakulam-Alappuzha Passenger (56379)

  • Alappuzha-Ernakulam Passenger (56302) 

  • Ernakulam-Kayamkulam Passenger (56381) 

  • Kayamkulam-Ernakulam Passenger (56382) 

  • Ernakulam-Kayamkulam Passenger (56387) 

  • Kollam-Ernakulam Memu (via Kottayam) (66301) 

  • Kollam-Ernakulam Memu (via Alappuzha) 

Congress leader and Kerala's Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi spoke to PM Modi on the flood situation in Kerala and sought assistance for the affected in the state, including in his constituency.

In a landslide reported at Vilangad, rescue personnel recovered the body of Lissy, wife of Dasan. Three houses were completely damaged and three persons are reportedly missing in the incident. Search and rescue operations are underway. Two people died in landslides in Meppadi area of Wayanad district, the NDRF said

READ MORE | Kerala rains: Kakkayam dam shutters to be raised further

Exactly a year after the 2018 flood, Kerala is once again on the edge. Heavy rains continued to pound many parts of the state for the second consecutive day, causing landslides and widespread destruction and claiming at least eight lives. Reports said about 40 people are trapped under the debris of a big landslide at Meppadi in Wayanad district.

Five districts — Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Idukki and Malappuram — are affected badly with hundreds of people forced to move to safer areas, leaving homes and properties behind. Flights were diverted due to poor visibility, trains were running late and road traffic came to a halt in several places as roads caved in. Rivers including Thodupuzha and Muvattupuzha are in full spate. Periyar rose above the danger-mark after the shutters of small dams like Munnar, Kallarkutty, Lower Periyar, Bhoothathankettu, Poringalkuthu and Malankara were opened as a precaution.

Rescue workers evacuate a family from a flooded house at Nilambur in Malappuram district. | Express

Three bridges in Idukki — Attukudu across Muthirapuzha near Pallivasal, Periyavara across Kannimala river near Munnar and one at Mankulam — were washed away in the gushing waters, cutting off Marayur and Mankulam from the mainland.

With the Met Department predicting more rains during the next 24 hours, the district collectors have declared holiday on Friday in 12 districts, except Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. Three people each died in Idukki and Wayanad districts, one each at Attapady (Palakkad) and Thrissur, taking the death toll since Wednesday to 10.

Flights were diverted from Kozhikode and Kochi. Due to water clogging at the apron, the Kochi airport suspended decided to suspend operations till 9 am on Friday.   Worryingly,  heavy rains are likely to continue till Saturday with the Met Department declaring red alert in Idukki, Kozhikode and Wayanad districts.

Affected

Road traffic got disrupted mainly in north Kerala and Idukki after trees fell on roads

Train services were stopped at many places due to poor visibility and strong winds

Operations suspended at Kochi airport till 9 am on Friday. Many flights diverted and some cancelled at Kochi and Kozhikode airports

(With Agency inputs)



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