The toll from landlips and floods in Kozhikode and Kannur districts had risen to nine by Tuesday afternoon. Landslips in the Pulloorampara hill region of Kozhikode claimed eight lives while a child drowned at Iritty in Kannur district.
Around 150 shops in Iritty town were flooded and many families have been evacuated from the banks of the Valapattanam river as water flowed over the Pazhassi Dam. Teams of Disaster Management Force and Navy have been rushed to the districts for relief and rescue operations.
Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash and Water Resources Minister P. J. Joseph are visiting the rain-hit areas. The Cabinet will meet in the state capital on Wednesday and Thursdayto decide assistance to the victims including farmers who have lost crops in the landslips.
Meanwhile the weather bureau has warned that heavy rain will continue in Malabar for the next 48 hours.
Pazhassi dam in danger
As water from the flooded Valapattanam river flowed over the top of the Pazhassi dam, the government is considering measures including blasting of the sluice gates which have failed to open. .
A Central Disaster Management team is rushing to Kerala by air to take emergency measures. People living downstream of the dam have been asked to move to safer places.
Minister for Water Resources P. J. Joseph told The Hindu over phone that the dam was in danger as water was flowing one metre above the crest of the dam. He had sought the help of Defence Minister A. K. Antony for air-lifting of a team of experts capable of handling the situation. They would decide whether blasting of the spillways would have to be done if the shutters could not be opened.
The spillways were under repair and five gates could not be opened as the water level rose following heavy downpour and landslips. Mr. Joseph said that he was going to Kannur and had called for a meeting at Mattur to discuss relief measures.
The dam has 16 spillways and official reports reaching here said that nine of the gates could not be opened in time. Following this the government has asked for an examination of the condition of shutters of irrigation projects across the State, Principal Secretary (Water Resources) V. J. Kurian told The Hindu.