Staff Reporter

Holiday for schools, colleges in Malappuram; massive loss of property in north Kerala districts

MALAPPURAM: Heavy rain wreaked havoc in the district on Thursday, claiming three lives and leaving dozens of people homeless. The worst affected was the north-eastern parts bordering Kozhikode and Wayanad districts.

Twenty-two houses were destroyed and 185 damaged in Nilambur taluk alone.

Additional District Magistrate E. Surendran declared a holiday for educational institutions in the district on Friday.

The deaths were reported from Tirunavaya, Urangattiri and Tirur. While two were electrocuted, the other drowned in the sea. Saidali Pulikkaparambil, 51, was cutting a tree at Tirunavaya when he was electrocuted.

Ashraf Pulikkathodi, 25, at Urangattiri near Areekode was electrocuted when he came into contact with a broken power line while walking through a paddy field. Haneefa Thanichantepurakkal, 40, of Koottayi died after he fell into the sea while fishing off the coast of Tirur.

The rivers in the district, particularly the Chaliyar, the Kadalundipuzha and the Bharatapuzha, are swollen.

Two persons marooned on an islet at the confluence of the Chaliyar and the Karadan were rescued after 21 hours on Thursday. Annadathil Baby, 55, and Pullanthara John, 50, were marooned in after flash floods inundated the islet in Pothukallu panchayat limits.

The help of the Navy’s search and rescue operation wing was sought to rescue them. The Naval helicopter could not locate the target in the heavy rain and fog. The helicopter hovered over Maruta, Kalakkampuzha and Punnapuzha for over an hour on Wednesday morning.

The duo was saved by the personnel of the Fire and Rescue Services using a dinghy. The two appeared exhausted and were shifted to hospital.

The district administration opened rescue camps at several places in the district. Nearly 60 people were shifted to the camp at Catholicate Higher Secondary School near Edakkara. Over 200 families were evacuated from Pothukallu and neighbouring areas.

Many students who went to school on Wednesday at Santhigramam, Bhoothanam and Panayanchal areas in Nilambur taluk could not return home even on Thursday owing to floods.

Many parts of the district, including Nilambur town, were submerged in floodwaters.

Places along the shores of the Chaliyar, such as Mampad, Edavanna, and Edavannapara, were also flooded. Vehicular traffic on Kozhikode-Nilambur-Gudallur Road was disrupted following flooding and landslips. Government officials succeeded in reaching the tribal colonies in the Nilambur forests with food on Thursday.

Severe damage

Kannur Special Correspondent writes:

Torrential rain and wind that lashed the district in the past 24 hours caused damage to crops and properties and inundated some low-lying areas.

Vehicular traffic was hit at many parts of the district. The traffic on the Taliparamba-Sreekantapuram road was disrupted due to flooding in the Chengalayi area.

The area was isolated as it was submerged in floodwater on Thursday morning. Country canoes were used to ferry people to and from Chengalayi. Flooding was also reported at Malapattam, Madambam, Kotturvayal, Podikkalam and Marygiri and Kakkad.

Heavy rain accompanied by strong winds on Wednesday claimed two lives in the district. An autorickshaw driver, C. Raghuthaman, 42, was fatally injured when an avenue tree got uprooted in the wind and fell on the vehicle at Mattannur.

In another monsoon-related casualty, E. Balachandran, 30, was crushed to death when a tree fell on him while he was walking on Wednesday afternoon at Peravur.

Steps were on to evacuate several families affected by the flooding at Chengalayi.

Areas close to the catchment of the Pazhassi reservoir also experienced flooding as water level in the reservoir rose. Four houses were partially damaged at Pariyaram. Revenue officials said the extent of agricultural and property destruction was being assessed. An autorickshaw was damaged when an electricity post fell on it at Pannempara here last night.

Several places experienced night-long disruption of electricity as a result of damage to power lines.

Loss in Attappady

Heavy rain in Attappady in the last couple of days caused large-scale destruction of crops and properties.

Officials said 10 houses were completely damaged while 200 suffered partial damage in the rain.

The houses were damaged at Jellipara, Karara, Chittoor, Pettikkal and Kuravampadi etc. There were landslips at many places affecting vehicular traffic, isolating some of the areas like Puliyara. The Bhavani and Siruvani rivers flowing through Attappady are in spate.