Kerala

Rain havoc leaves 8 dead in Kerala; Army called in

Passengers are evacuated from a KSRTC bus which got stuck in the flash floods at Poonjar in Kerala’s Kottayam district following heavy rain on October 16, 2021. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Torrential rain pummelled southern and central Kerala districts throughout Saturday, triggering landslips and floods which left eight dead and wreaked havoc across Pathanamthitta, Kottayam and Idukki districts.

Heavy rainfall, accompanied by thunderstorms in some cases, pounded region due to a low pressure area over the south-east Arabian Sea since the early hours of the day.

 

Six of a family were killed while 15 others were reported missing in landslips in Plapally and Kavali in Koottickal panchayat of Kottayam district. Search and rescue operations were hindered by heavy rainfall and poor light. A man and a woman hailing from Koothattukulam were killed after their car was washed away by floodwaters at Kanjar in Thodupuzha, Idukki.

Seven people were feared missing in a landlsip at Kokkayar in Idukki district. In Thiruvananthapuram, a migrant labourer from Jharkhand, went missing in the Amayizhanjan Canal.

With flood waters cutting off roads and access to several regions, the Army and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were deployed in various districts to coordinate rescue operations. The Air Force also is on standby.

A view of the landslip reported at Koottickal on the eastern high ranges of Kottayam on October 16, 2021. Photo: Special Arrangement

A view of the landslip reported at Koottickal on the eastern high ranges of Kottayam on October 16, 2021. Photo: Special Arrangement  

 

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who chaired a review meeting in the evening, described the situation as grave and promised all-out efforts to rescue people stranded in cut-off locations. Indications are that the weather situation will not worsen, Mr. Vijayan said.

Scores of families have been relocated to relief camps in the affected districts. The torrential rains have also damaged houses, brought down trees and snapped overhead power cables across southern and central Kerala.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had put Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur and Palakkad districts on red alert for extremely heavy rainfall. Yellow and orange alerts were sounded in the other districts.

Rivers including the Pampa, Kallada and the Achencoil were in spate. Shutters of dams have been raised to let out water following steady rainfall in the catchment areas in several districts. The State Emergency Operations Centre has been fully activated and the Kerala State Electricity Board and (KSEB), the Irrigation Department have deployed staff at reservoirs to monitor the water levels round-the-clock.

Higher education institutions which were slated to function from Monday will reopen only on Wednesday, in view of the rainfall situation, it was decided at the meeting chaired by the Chief Minister. The Sabarimala pilgrimage will be avoided till Tuesday, in view of the forecast that the rain will continue till then.


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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 6:40:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/rain-havoc-leaves-8-dead-in-kerala-army-called-out/article37031174.ece

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