Seven die as monsoon fury grips Kerala

Five houses were destroyed and 55 houses damaged

August 01, 2022 09:31 pm | Updated 09:46 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

A group of clam collectors from Aryad in Alappuzha who got trapped in the middle of Vembanad Lake in squally weather being moved to safety on Monday evening.

A group of clam collectors from Aryad in Alappuzha who got trapped in the middle of Vembanad Lake in squally weather being moved to safety on Monday evening. | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The southwest monsoon unleashed its fury in the State on Monday with large parts of central and southern Kerala lashed by heavy rains, triggering minor landslips and flashfloods, especially in the high ranges.

Seven deaths were reported in the State over the last 24 hours. As many as five houses were destroyed and 55 houses damaged.

Pathanamthitta recorded the highest rainfall of 15 cm in the last 24 hours ending at 8.30 a.m. on Monday, followed by Idukki and Kollam (9 cm each) and Kottayam (8 cm).

The fatalities

Three of a family were killed when their car careened off the road in heavy rain and fell into a swollen stream at Mallapally in Pathanamthitta district. Another Pathanamthitta resident has gone missing after being swept away by a strong current in the Pampa river abutting Athikayam village. At Kollamulla village, one person drowned in a fast-flowing stream.

In Kollam, a 50-year-old man died after being caught under cascading water at Kumbavu Urutti waterfall at Achankovil in Aryankavu village. In Kottayam, relatives reported a man missing after he fell into a flooded canal. In Malappuram, a youth drowned after his leisure boat capsized in the Ponnani river.

In Vizhinjam, a fisherman from Tamil Nadu died after his boat capsized in high wave while putting out to sea. He has been identified as Kingston, 27.

A mechanised fishing boat struggling to enter the Shaktikulangara Harbour in Kollam on Monday.

A mechanised fishing boat struggling to enter the Shaktikulangara Harbour in Kollam on Monday. | Photo Credit: C. SURESHKUMAR

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said heavy rain had rendered at least five houses uninhabitable and partially damaged another 55 across Kerala.

Relief camps

Seven relief camps have been opened — one each in Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Thrissur, and Wayanad and two in Kottayam. As many as 90 people have been shifted to these camps. He also announced that a 24-hour disaster relief control room (8078548538) had been established at the State Emergency Operations Centre. Besides, control rooms will be opened in all districts and taluks.

The police, Revenue authorities, local self-government institutions, volunteer rescue teams, civil defence units and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been placed on high alert.

Mr. Vijayan ordered them to evacuate people living in flood and landslip-prone localities to safer ground or relief camps. He also liasoned with the Army, the Air Force, and the Navy for relief and rescue operations if necessary.

NDRF on standby

NDRF teams were put on standby in Idukki, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Thrissur. Four more team would be deployed in Ernakulam, Kottayam, Kollam and Malappuram.

Mr. Vijayan tasked the Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, Vijay Sakhare, and ADGP, Armed Police Battalions, M.R. Ajith Kumar, to coordinate the rain preparedness.

Briefing the media on the situation, he said the State had barely emerged from the tail-end of the catastrophic floods in 2018 and 2019 when another climate event posed a significant threat to people.

The government has formed incident response teams at the taluk level. Government doctors have been directed not to leave their posts till the crisis abated and fishers have been warned against putting out to sea.

Mr. Vijayan said the Power and Irrigation departments were monitoring the water level in dams. “Some minor irrigation dams are letting out water in small quantities. The water in hydel power dams is very much within the safety threshold”, he said. He asked the public to avoid night travel, especially over rugged terrain and in hilly regions.

Top News Today

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.