Thursday, Dec 08, 2022

22 Dead As Rain Lashes Kerala, State Seeks Army, IAF Help

22 Dead As Rain Lashes Kerala, State Seeks Army, IAF Help

Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KDSMA) has evacuated 22,165 people from flood-affected regions and they have been lodged in 315 camps across the state.

Streets in Areekode town of Kozhikode district in Kerala are flooded due to heavy rainfall in the region. Twitter/ANI

As heavy rains continued to batter various parts of Kerala, 22 people have lost their lives with over 22,000 people being shifted to relief centres.

Red alert has been issued in nine districts with the worst affected being Wayanad, Malappuram, Kannur and Idukki by the IMD which has prompted the government to seek the help of the Army and the Air Force to carry out rescue operations in the state.

In Wayanad, which is among the worst affected, 9,951 people have taken shelter in 105 camps, while in Malappuram, 4,106 people have been shifted to 26 camps.

Several persons are suspected to be missing in the massive landslip reported from Meppadi in Wayanad district Friday, where, a temple, a mosque and a couple of houses and a few vehicles have come under the debris. 

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who chaired a high-level meeting Friday morning to review the situation, told reporters that 22 people have died in the heavy rains in the last three days.

Landslides and mud-slips have been reported from 24 places, he said.

"In Mepaddi in Wayanad, which witnessed the biggest landslide on Thursday evening, the area between two hills areas was completely washed away," Vijayan said.

The government has sought the assistance of the Indian Air Force.

Personnel of the NDRF, Police, Fire force and Forest officials are engaged in rescue operations.

Meppadi in Wayanad and Nilambur in Malappuram are among the worst-hit areas, he said.

To help in the rescue operations, 13 teams of NDRF personnel and around 180 Army officials have already reached the state.

Schools, educational institutions and professional colleges in all districts in the state will remain closed till Saturday.

Examinations of the Kerala Public Service Commission and various Universities across the state, scheduled for Saturday have been postponed, officials said.

Also Read: Rahul Gandhi Speaks To PM Narendra Modi Over Floods In Kerala, Seeks Assistance For Those Affected

Also, flight operations at Cochin International Airport have been suspended till 3 pm, Sunday as floodwaters inundated the apron area (parking area), authorities said.

"Kochi Airport closes operations till 1500 hrs of Sunday (11/08/2019)," a statement issued by the Airport said.

 A Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) spokesman said the runway area of the airport is waterlogged due to the flood. Airport infrastructure was damaged in the floods, with an estimated loss of Rs 220-250 crore.

The operations were suspended as there was a rise in water levels in Periyar river and a canal adjacent to the airport.

Earlier on Thursday, flight operations were suspended for four hours till midnight as a precautionary measure in view of heavy rains.

The floods in August 2018 had rendered the airport non-functional for a fortnight.

Flights coming to the airport have been diverted, a CIAL spokesperson said without elaborating.

Also Read: Heavy Rains Lash Parts Of Country, Flood Situation Grim In Maharashtra, Kerala And Tamil Nadu

Meanwhile, train services on the Mararikulam-Alapuzha route was suspended this morning for a few hours as a tree fell on the track, damaging electric lines. At least 4 trains -- Maveli Express, Rajdhani, Dhanbad express and Guruvayur -- were held up at various points, railway sources said.

Moderate to heavy rainfall with wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph is very likely to at one or two places in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

High waves in the range of 3.2-3.7 metres are forecast till 23:30 hours of Saturday along the coast of Kerala from Pozhiyoor to Kasargod. Officials have advised fishermen not to venture into these areas during the period.