December 2019
6:24 PM IST
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Kerala News
Incessant rains continue, Kerala CM seeks help of defence forces for rescue operations
Thiruvananthapuram: In the wake of incessant rains continuing in the state, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday sought the help of defence forces for rescue operations and directed his cabinet colleagues to visit flood affected areas to ensure co-operation between various departments. Though the teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were pressed into rescue operations in Wayanad, Idukki and Malappuram districts, the State demanded the service of additional 13 units of NDRF. A massive landslip was reported from Meppadi in the hilly Wayanad district where a temple, church, couple of houses and a few vehicles have come under soil and several people feared missing.

A 24x7 emergency operation center comprising members of revenue, fireforce, police and NDRF has been opened at Thiruvananthapuram. Due to heavy rains, the water levels of various dams are being monitored by a special team to take precautionary measures. Shutters of Boodathankettu, Malankara, Mangalam, Kakkayam, Malampuzha, Kuttiyadi, Kanjirappuzha dams were opened due to heavy rains in the catchment areas. The Chief Minister urged the people to shift from their native place to relief camps to avoid casualty. CM Vijayan, who visited the State Disaster Management Authority''s State Level Control Room here, assessed the coordination of disaster management activities, here on Thursday night. The Chief Minister has instructed the concerned departments to take necessary precautions on account of the heavy rains.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting convened to assess the continuing rains. An Emergency Operations Center of the SDMA is operating from Thiruvananthapuram. Meanwhile, the death toll rose to nine in various rain related incidents in the State. Three each died in Idukki and Wayanad districts. Three more deaths were reported from Malappuram and Kannur districts. A holiday has been announced for all the educational institutions, except in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram, in the State on Friday. A red alert has been issued in four districts -- Idukki, Wayanad, Malappuram and Kozhikode on Friday. Orange alert has been issued in five districts on Friday. Bhavani, Siruvani and Varagar rivers in northern Kerala were reportedly overflowed. According to a report from Kochi, rising of water level in the Periyar river creates panic situation in the Eranakulam district.

The Nedumbassery Airport has been closed till this midnight due to heavy rains. Flight services are being diverted due to the closure of the airport, sources said. Aluva Manappuram which is famous for Sivarathiri celebration has been fully submerged. District authorities have taken all precautionary measures to take on any casualty. Meanwhile, district administration has declared holidays for all educational institutions. Flood in last year left substantial damages and lost lives when Periyar river turned floody. The situation in the Alappuzha which is the neighbouring district is not different from Ernakulam. Rising water level in the Pampa river may create havoc, flood situation is worsening as heavy rain is still continuing. According to the latest datas available with the authorities, about 1385 people have been shifted to 16 relief camps in the State.

Thunderstorm accompanied with rain and gusty winds speed reaching 30-40 KMPH is likely in Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Kozhikode, Kottayam, Thrissur, Kannur, Pathanamthitta and Wayanad districts. High waves in the range of 3.0 - 3.5 meters are forecasted till 2330 hrs of August 9 along the coast of Kerala from Pozhiyoor to Kasargod. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea. SDMA has instructed necessary precautions to avoid rain related accidents. "Do not walk through flood waters, avoid crossing rivers and parents should ensure that children are not let near water. SDMA has also advised against travelling to affected tourist destinations," SDMA sources said.

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