November 2019
3:12 AM IST
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Furious monsoon devastates Kerala, death toll rises to 40 but all-likely to increase
Thiruvananthapuram: The furious rains being witnessed across the state, barring Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts, since Wednesday, has cost as many as 40 lives by now. The death toll is likely to increase as several persons are still trapped under the soil that caved in the landslides that occurred in several parts of North Kerala. The heavy downpour and destruction of road connectivity has been hindering rescue operations. There has been heavy landslides in Kuthumala in Wayanad and Kavalapara in Nilambur in Malappuram district. That apart, landslips of minor but fatal nature, had occurred in seven places in North Kerala.

The flooding of low lying areas and heavy showers have also caused destruction of many houses, some completely and cost lives in separate incidents. The total number of people who are missing or trapped in the natural calamities should be about a hundred or more, sources said. The rescue operations for today has been called off by 1830 hrs and will resume early Saturday morning, sources said. Seven dams, Idukki Lower Periyar, Headworks-Munnar, Kallarkutty, Irattayar, Kallar, Kakkayam in Kozhikode, Peringalkuthu, all coming under the KSEB, were opened due to heavy rains. Another six dams, Malankara, Mangalam, Walayar, Kuttiyadi, Karapuzha, Kanjirappuzha, all coming under the Water Resource Department, were opened following incessant rains in the catchment areas.

Banasurasagar dam in Wayanad and Malampuzha dam in Palakkad will be opened at anytime as heavyrains continued in these areas. Other dams including Maniyar, Boothathankettu, Neriymangalam, Poomala and Asuramkundu have been opened. Pala Town was flooded after the rise of water in an alarming level in Meenachil river on Friday. Talking to mediapersons here, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said 64,013 people from 15,748 families have been shifted to 788 relief camps in the State till Friday afternoon. More than 1,383 houses were partially and 100 houses fully damaged in the floods and landslides in the State, he added. Around Rs 22.5 crore from State Disaster Relief Funds was sanctioned for emergency relief works in 11 districts, he said. The Kerala Government urged the neighbouring Tamil Nadu to complete the maintenance work of dilapidated Aliyar-Kondur canal.

As waterflow through the canal was not proper, the inflow into the Chalakkudy river was high leading to floods in several places adjacent to the river. More than 40 people might have trapped in the landslides at Kavalappara in Malappuram, the Chief Minister said adding those who were reluctant to shift from the place became the victims of the tragedy. According to MeT office, extremely heavy rains is most likely to continue in seven districts in Kerala on Saturday also. Accordingly, the MET department had issued issued red alert in Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram, Palakkad, Idukki and Ernakulam districts. Orange alert has been issued for Kasaragod, Thrissur, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts.

Meanwhile, a 24 X 7 ''Control Room'' has been opened at the Chief Minister''s office to co-ordinate rescue and rehabilitation process in the State. Meanwhile, the Navy has granted permission to operate domestic flights from Kochi naval airport. Sources said 12 Air India Flights scheduled to be operated from Kochi on August 10 and 12 will be operated from Thiruvananthapuram.

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