Kerala rains: Death toll climbs to 12, red alert in 10 districts

Six more people, including a two-year-old, died as heavy rain continued to lash the state on Tuesday, taking the death toll to 12.
A team of the National Disaster Response Force shifting the marooned residents of the Puzhankuni Colony at Muthanga in Wayanad to a safe location following heavy rain on Tuesday | Express
A team of the National Disaster Response Force shifting the marooned residents of the Puzhankuni Colony at Muthanga in Wayanad to a safe location following heavy rain on Tuesday | Express

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Six more people, including a two-year-old, died as heavy rain continued to lash the state on Tuesday, taking the death toll to 12.

While three persons died in Kannur, one death each was reported from Kottayam, Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram. Three persons — two fishermen in Chavakkad and one in Kollam — are missing. Over 2,000 people in 11 districts have been moved to relief camps.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) maintained red alerts in 10 districts, indicating very heavy rainfall, at least till Thursday. Red alert in Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur will continue on Wednesday. Orange alert has been sounded in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Kasaragod indicating heavy rain.

The downpour has also caused immense damage to property, completely destroying 23 houses – 18 in Kannur and five in Idukki – and 71 partially. So far, 27 houses have been destroyed fully and 126 partially since Sunday. As many as 2,291 people have been moved to 102 relief camps opened in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur.

Water level in Idukki and Mullaperiyar dams within permissible limit: Minister

Thrissur has the highest number of affected people (657) while Kottayam has the most camps (21). A statement from the Chief Minister’s Office said directives have been issued to provide adequate facilities to pregnant women, new mothers and others requiring special attention. Meanwhile, the CM has directed Chief Secretary V P Joy to monitor the water level in dams. Water level in the Pampa, Neyyar, Manimala, Karamana dams has crossed the danger limit earmarked by the Central Water Commission.

“Water level in the Achankovil, Kaliyar, Thodupuzha, Meenachil rivers are increasing. People living on their banks must be vigilant. Efforts are on to rehabilitate them,” the CMO said. Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine said water levels in Idukki and Mullaperiyar dams were within the permissible limit and there was no cause for concern. “The levels are being checked every hour,” he said.

Nine teams from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been stationed at Idukki, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Thrissur, Malappuram, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Kollam, and Pathanamthitta. Besides two units of Defence Security Corps have been stationed in Kannur and Palakkad while a column of military personnel has been deployed in Thiruvananthapuram.

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Sabarimala pilgrims told to remain cautious

The officials have asked the Sabarimala pilgrims to remain cautious in view of the heavy rain. District Collector Divya S Iyer said that the pilgrims will not be allowed to bath or venture into the Pampa river. They will be allowed through the Swami Ayyappan road only. The temple will open for the ‘Niraputhari’ festival on Wednesday and the ritual will be performed on Thursday. An orange alert has been announced in the district in both days.

Film award distribution postponed

The Kerala State Film Awards distribution scheduled to be held at Nishagandhi auditorium in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday has been postponed. The new date will be announced later.

Deceased

Three persons died in landslides in Kannur. They are Rajesh, 45, of Vellara Colony, Mannali Chandran, 55, in Vellara and two-and-a-half-year-old Numa Thasmin, the daughter of Nadira J Rahim in Poolakutti. Kingston, 27, a native of Kanyakumari, drowned at Puthanthura in Thiruvananthapuram. Kunnumparambil Riyas, 45, died in a flash flood at Koottikal in Kottayam. Body of Poulose, 65, who went missing from Kuttambuzha on Monday was found in a forest.

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