Rain wreaks havoc in Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, and Pathanamthitta

Two teams of the Army and four teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are on their way to districts hit by rain havoc on Monday.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media here on Monday that two teams of the NDRF with heavy equipment were heading by road to Idukki district which saw 18 landslips in a day. Besides, two teams were being flown in to Kochi by the Air Force. One of these teams would move to Idukki and the other to Aluwa where flooding was anticipated.

An Army unit from Thiruvananthapuram would also be reaching Idukki tonight. Another would go to Thrissur. Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Union Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran had helped in rushing the team to the affected areas.

Chandy to take stock

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will visit places affected by the monsoon havoc in Idukki on Tuesday. He will fly by helicopter to Neriamangalam and then proceed to interior areas by road. Chief Secretary E.K. Bharat Bhushan will accompany him.

Minister for Water Resources P.J. Joseph and Electricity Minister Aryadan Mohammed are already overseeing relief operations in the district.

The Chief Minister urged tourists and others not to travel to the hilly areas of Idukki district. About 200 km of roads in the district were not motorable owing to heavy rain and landslips. The condition of roads and roadblocks were also hampering relief operations.

Solatium

Mr. Chandy said three bodies had been recovered from Cheeyanpara in Idukki district where earth had caved in over stranded vehicles. Eight had been hospitalised with injuries. The next of kin of the dead would be granted a solatium of Rs.2 lakh each and Rs.10,000 each for funeral.

He said that Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Pathanamthitta had been the worst-hit. About 2,000 persons had been moved to relief camps in different districts.

At Mullaperiyar dam

The Chief Minister said that though the water level in the Mullaperiyar reservoir had crossed 133.2 feet from the base of the dam, there was no cause for panic. Mr. Bharat Bhushan had called his Tamil Nadu counterpart and requested him to make arrangements to draw maximum water from the dam.

Mr. Chandy said Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan and Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash had already left for Idukki. The Cabinet had met urgently in the morning to plan relief operations and would be meeting again at 4 p.m. on Tuesday to review the situation. An all party meeting would be convened at 3 p.m. on Tuesday to discuss relief measures.

Our Staff Reporter adds:

Three companies from Pangode for Idukki

The Army Station at Pangode here has sent three companies to Idukki district for providing assistance in rescue operations following landslips there. An aircraft of the Indian Air Force has been provided to ferry National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel to Kochi. From there, the NDRF personnel will move to Idukki. The teams are being sent on a special request from the State administration, an official pres release issued here on Monday said.

More In: Kerala | National