THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Heavy rains are wreaking havoc in different parts of the state since Friday night. Ten persons went missing in a landslide at Koottikkal in Kottayam and seven went missing in a landslide at Kokkayar in Idukki district. Several people have lost their lives in the rain fury.
A high level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan decided to postpone the college reopening to October 20. The meeting also decided not to allow pilgrims to Sabarimala until October 19.
Several areas in the high ranges of Kottayam and Idukki faced flash floods and some were isolated. A man and woman travelling in a car were washed away in the flash floods at Kanjar in Thodupuzha.
Amid fears of a repeat of the catastrophic floods in 2018, CM Vijayan said that the situation is not expected to become worse. "The latest climate forecast offers a relief. We are not headed to a worse situation," he said after a high-level review meeting on Saturday evening.
A red alert has been sounded in the districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Palakkad. The IMD has asked people to take precaution against lightening between 2 pm and 10 pm on Sunday.
The high-level meeting decided to evacuate people from areas prone to floods and landslide. The chief minister asked officers to take special care on dam management. Evacuation warnings for people in the catchment areas should be given well in advance. The district administration and departments of power and water resources should make joint efforts, he said.
The CM asked district administrations to seek help from the NDRF teams camping in the state. Army, Navy and Air Force can also be called in. Local self-governments have been asked to prepare list of boats available for rescue activities. The Motor Vehicles Department has prepared a region-wise lists of earth movers, tippers, cranes and ambulances for emergency rescue operations.