Kerala: Rain intensity eases; flash floods and water logging continue to impact normal life; toll 19

Nineteen people died, and 10,399 have been shifted to relief camps due to heavy rains lashing the state for a week now.

ByK A Shaji

Published Jul 09, 2023 | 10:40 AMUpdatedJul 09, 2023 | 10:40 AM

Kerala rain

Though the intensity with which the Southwest Monsoon was lashing Kerala over the past few days eased somewhat on Sunday, 9 July, widespread rains continued across the state, causing flash floods and landslides, especially in the hilly regions.

In the state’s coastal regions, spread over 570 km, the sea continues to remain turbulent, making it impossible for the fish workers to sail out. Large-scale sea erosion has also been reported in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kannur, and Kasargod districts.

In the central areas, water logging continues to disrupt vehicular movement, apart from keeping many low-lying residential localities inundated.

Train and bus services have been affected in several parts of the state, and the operation of Kochi Metro continues to be disrupted. Restrictions imposed on vehicular movement in the fragile hilly regions of Idukki remain in force.

The Southwest Monsoon, which normally hits the state on 1 June, was delayed by over a week, and remained weak initially.

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19 deaths so far

According to the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA), 19 people have so far lost their lives in the incessant rains.

Over 10,000 people have been shifted to relief camps in different locations, mainly in the Kuttanad region of Alappuzha, which is below sea level.

As per KSDMA data, there are 10,399 flood victims in the state, and they have been lodged in 227 relief camps.

KSDMA is now engaged in taking stock of the number of houses and other properties damaged in the rains, which hit the state with ferocity towards the end of June, after remaining elusive for much of the month.

Kannur and Idukki remain the worst affected by the rains, and a major landslide was reported at Vaithalkund in Kannur, leading to waterlogging in the Alakkode and Karuvanchal regions.

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According to reports, Alakkode river is on the verge of breaching its banks. People from potential landslide areas in hilly regions of Kerala have already been shifted to safer places, according to KSDMA officials.

If the monsoon regains strength in the coming days, landslides are expected in Kannur, Malappuram, Wayanad, Idukki, and Pathanamthitta districts.

Houses on the Beypore, Kappad, and Vadakara coasts were flooded due to sea erosion. With the shacks in Mundakkal Paniya Tribal Colony in Vellamunda collapsing in heavy winds, nine families were shifted to camps.

Night travel to high ranges has been restricted in several parts of the state.

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Dams fill up

The water level in the Mullaperiyar reservoir touched 116.90 feet. The level in the Idukki Dam reached 2,313.36 feet. With downpours continuing, dams in Thrissur are also fast filling up.

An orange alert was declared in Poringalkuthu dam after the water level touched the 422-metre mark. The maximum permitted water level of the dam is 424 metres.

People in low-lying Kuttanad are the worst affected among flood victims, and most have been moved into safer locations after flood waters started gushing into their residences.

The situation remains severe in Pallippad, Kainakari, and Kumarakom.