An unprecedented rescue and relief operations have been launched in the flood-hit areas of Chengannur and Kuttanad taluks in Alappuzha district.
With a slight respite from torrential rains on Friday, rescue efforts involving the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), armed forces, Kerala Police and Fire and Rescue Services Department have gained momentum. As many as 64,470 people have been rescued and shifted to around 250 relief camps in the district.
Officials said that five teams of NDRF had been deployed to Chengannur and Kuttanad taluks to evacuate the stranded people. Four helicopters, 41 fishing boats and 19 country made boats have been assisting in the rescue operations in the region. Several people have been airlifted from the marooned areas of Chengannur.
However, hundreds of people continue to remain stranded in parts of Chengannur and Kuttanad as rescue teams could not reach the isolated areas.
The areas including Chengannur, Pandanad, Edanad, Thiruvanvandoor, Vazhar, Mangalam, Veeyapuram, Cheruthana, Pathiyoor and Pallippad have been worst affected. The flood-hit Kuttanad is witnessing a mass exodus of people. Officials said that Kainakary, Pulinkunnu, Chambakulam, Edathua, and Ramankary had been badly affected. Eighty houseboats and several jankars have been deployed to shift people from Kuttanad to safer places.
Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac visited flood ravaged areas in Kuttanad. He said that all stranded people in Kainakary would be evacuated by Saturday. Public Works Minister G. Sudhakaran has directed the district administration to prepare a list of stranded people in Chengannur and islands in the district. He also asked District Collector S. Suhas to appoint special officers in Chengannur and Kuttanad taluks to coordinate rescue efforts.
Water level has risen in the region following heavy rain and after the shutters of the Kakki, Anathodu, and Kochu Pampa reservoirs, part of the Sabarigiri hydroelectric project, in Pathanamthitta district were opened.
Meanwhile, the shutters of the Thottappally spillway have been opened in full to drain out the floodwaters.