KOCHI: The rains in Kerala intensified on Tuesday morning, after lessening in the last couple of days, with Kerala Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) declaring 'red alerts' for three districts viz., Ernakulam, Idukki and Alappuzha, on Tuesday, in a change from earlier declared 'orange alerts'.
The death toll as of Tuesday evening is 91.
Rains have intensified in central and southern districts on Tuesday with Kollam, Thrissur and Ernakulam with one death reported each from Alappuzha and Thrissur districts on Tuesday. Following the red alert, the District Collectors have declared a holiday for educational institutions in Ernakulam, Wayanad and Thrissur on Wednesday. Earlier, a holiday was declared for nine districts on Tuesday.
In addition to the three districts, KSDMA has declared 'orange alerts' in nine districts on Tuesday. It has also declared 'red alert' for Malappuram and Kozhikode for Wednesday, and 'orange alert' for another six districts. Red alert implies 'warning' with a forecast of very heavy to extremely heavy rain (over 204.5 mm in a single day) while orange alert is 'be prepared' with a prediction of 64.5 mm to 115.6 mm.
Meanwhile, the focus is still at the massive landslide hit sites of Kavalappara in Malappuram, where at least 40 persons are still missing, and in Puthumala at Meppadi in Wayanad, where the search resumed for eight persons this morning.
With floodwaters receding in many parts, people are returning back to their homes. The number of people staying in relief camps have come down from 2.86 lakh at 3pm on Monday, to 2.24 lakh on Tuesday 3 pm. The number of relief camps have also come down to 1243 from 1624 on Monday.
CHIEF MINISTER VISITS FLOOD-HIT AREAS
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who has been camping in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram to coordinate the rescue and relief operations since last week, on Tuesday travelled to Malappuram and Wayanad, the two worst-hit parts in Kerala.
At Meppadi, he visited the relief camp and urged the people to stay together in the hour of crisis. He asked the people to come forward to contribute for the relief activities. The Chief Minister, however, will not go to the landslide spots as it could hinder the ongoing rescue operations.
NEYYAR DAM OPENED
Following heavy rains, shutters of Neyyar dam in Thiruvananthapuram were opened one inch each as a precaution.
HOLIDAYS FOR NINE DISTRICTS TODAY
Following the Met warning of heavy rains, the District Collectors had announced holiday on Tuesday. The districts are Kannur, Kottayam, Kannur, Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Wayanad, Malappuram, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha.
TOTAL OF 2.52 LAKH IN RELIEF CAMPS
The government said a total of 252201 people from 75701 families are staying in 1332 relief camps in the state. The most number of people are in Malappuram (45,377), followed by Kozhikode (43706) and Wayanad (35878).