Death Toll Rises to 28 as Rain Continues to Wreak Havoc in Kerala; Red Alert in Place for 7 Districts
A total of 738 relief camps have been opened across the state with over 64,000 people displaced from their houses by the floods and rains being shifted there
Army and NDRF personnel carry out a rescue operation in a flood affected area of Ernakulam district, (PTI Photo)
Thiruvananthapuram: At least 28 people have been killed and seven reported missing as torrential rains continued to lash most parts of Kerala on Friday. At least 40 people are feared trapped under debris in two massive landslides that shook the badly affected districts of Wayanad and Malappuram.
A total of 738 relief camps have been opened across the state with over 64,000 people displaced from their houses by the floods and rains being shifted there.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who reviewed the flood situation on Friday evening, said 28 people lost their lives in the last three days and seven were missing. At least 27 people have been injured in the rain-related incidents in various parts of the state, he added.
The Banasura Sagar dam in Wayanad was likely to be opened any time in view of rising water level, Vijayan said.
The Met department has issued a red alert in Ernakulam, Thrissur, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod districts of the state for Friday and in Ernakulam, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur for August 10.
Rescue and relief operations were on in full swing with the involvement of personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Police, the fire force and forest department.
Rail, road and air transport took a hit in the state with several trains being cancelled and the Cochin International Airport shut till August 11 due to water logging in almost 60 per cent region of its operational area. All flights have been All flights have been diverted to the state capital for the next two days.
Landslides and mud-slips have been reported from over 25 places in the state.
Kavalapara near Nilambur in Malappuram District suffered heavy loss with nearly 40 houses being washed away due to a massive landslide, officials said. Several people are feared missing from the hilly region.
"We have retrieved three bodies from the area. Since the whole area was washed out, we were unable to ascertain the actual loss," a district revenue official told PTI.
On Thursday evening, a major landslide was reported in Meppadi in Wayanad, officials said they suspected nearly 70 houses could have been damaged. Nine bodies were recovered on Friday by the rescue personnel from the landslide spot, they said.
"The evacuation process and the rescue operation are still going on," officials said adding they were yet to ascertain the full gravity of the situation. They also said the landslides in Meppadi and Kavalapara had affected nearly 100 acres of land and incessant rain was hampering the rescue operations.
Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Vijayan said the state government has allotted Rs 22.5 crore for immediate assistance in flood-hit areas.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who represents the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat from Kerala, spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the floods and sought aid. "...The PM has assured to provide any assistance required to mitigate effects of the disaster," he tweeted from his Wayanad MP twitter handle.
(With PTI inputs)
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