Rail traffic was disrupted after the rain flooded tracks and damaged the signalling system at Ernakulam.

Heavy rain, triggered by a low pressure area over the Arabian sea, lashed the State on Thursday, flooding low lying areas and throwing normal life out of gear. The inclement weather claimed two lives. As many as five houses were destroyed and 103 damaged.

Yakoob, 40, died after he was trapped under a falling tree at Perinthalmanna in Palakkad on Thursday. Omana, 53, Nellimoodu in Thiruvananthapuram, was reported dead after she was caught under a mound of earth that collapsed due to the rain at 11.30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Railway traffic was disrupted after the rain flooded tracks and damaged the signalling system at Ernakulam. The Railways had to cancel or terminate several trains that were coming to Ernakulam from the Thiruvananthapuram and Shoranur side. MEMU services and passenger, mail and express trains were cancelled or terminated at Thrissur, Thuravur, Idapally, and Tripunithura, resulting in chaos and hardship to commuters. Railway sources said trains bound for Thiruvananthapuram were delayed by three hours. The low pressure area centred over the Arabian sea off the North Kerala coast is likely to become more marked and move in the northeast direction, according to a forecast issued by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Under its influence, heavy rainfall (exceeding 7 cm) will occur at a few places and very heavy rainfall (exceeding 13 cm) at isolated places in Kerala till Saturday morning. Thunder squalls with wind speed reaching 50 to 60 km/h are likely along and off the Kerala coast and Lakshadweep area during the next 24 hours.

The government has directed panchayat committees to coordinate relief activities in the wake of the damage caused by the rain. Panchayats have been given permission to utilise up to Rs.50,000 from their own funds for relief work.