Five persons, including two children, were reported dead and one person missing from Thiruvananthapuram district as torrential rain lashed the southern districts of the State from Friday evening.

Adityan, 4, was reportedly swept away by the swirling waters of a canal at Vayalikkada in the capital city. His father, Kalesh, 35, who tried to save the boy is reported missing. At Manamboor in Chirayanakeezhu taluk, three-year-old Ammu and her grandmother Lalithambika, 70, were electrocuted in the compound of their house.

The capital city soaked in 18 cm of rain till 8.30 a.m. on Saturday and 22 cm of rain till 5.30 p.m. As storm water canals that crisscross the city and the Killi and Karamana rivers were in spate, low-lying areas were inundated early on Saturday morning. Five hundred families were shifted to nine relief camps. While 48 houses were partially damaged, three were destroyed in the rain. In Kollam, there was power supply disruption in many parts. The district experienced heavy rainfall beginning Friday afternoon. The heavy rain continued till Saturday afternoon.

Incessant rains in the forests of Pathanamthitta district caused much hardship to Sabarimala pilgrims on Saturday. The Pampa river swelled with heavy inflow from the catchment areas upstream.

The police issued warnings to pilgrims and shopkeepers at the Pampa Manalpuram on Friday evening about possible flash floods in the event of landslides in the forests. No vehicle was permitted at the parking lots on the river banks at the Pampa-Triveni on Friday and Saturday.

Pilgrims trekked the hills of Neelimala and Appachimedu braving the downpour. The police periodically blocked the pilgrims at Pampa, Sabaripeedhom, Marakkoottom, and Saramkuthy. The pilgrims had little option but to wait in the rains with the drenched bundle ‘Irumudikkettu' inside the packed iron barricades for hours together. Many pilgrims were stranded at the Sannidhanam owing to shortage of sufficient shelters. Most shelters at Sabarimala were occupied by Friday afternoon itself.

Accumulation of waste, and stench emanating from it, was another problem at Sabarimala as waste removal too was affected by the incessant rains.

Traffic snarls in Kochi

In Kochi, unexpected rain held up traffic and temporarily hit the annual, year-end, Cochin Carnival on Fort Kochi beach on Saturday. A spokesman for the Cochin Carnival said that swimming, a favourite among competitions, was cancelled.

Keywords: Kerala rainfall