Rain devastation continues in Kerala as death toll rises to 14

National Disaster Response Force teams have been put on standby in the Idukki, Kozhikode, Wayanad, and Thrissur districts.

ByK A Shaji

Published Aug 03, 2022 | 1:17 PMUpdatedAug 03, 2022 | 2:33 PM

Scene of a landlside occured during early morning on Wednesday at Kanichar near Kannur. Photo by K B Jayachandran.

Monsoon rains continued to ravage Kerala for the fourth successive day, with the death toll rising to 14 on Wednesday, 3 August, according to officials.

A Noufal, who was washed away in the Ithikkara river at Plalliman village of Kollam district, was found dead, and rescue workers retrieved his body in the early hours of Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a major landslide occurred in the Malom Chulli village of the northern Kasargod district in the early hours of Wednesday. However, no casualty was reported.

Similarly, a massive crack appeared on the approach road to the central bridge at Moovattupuzha and paralysed the traffic on the major Thiruvananthapuram-Kottayam-Angamaly Road on Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, officials warned fisherfolk against going into the severely turbulent waters along the Arabian Sea coast, which showed a rise of 3.3 metres last night.

The major rivers of Kerala, including Pampa, Neyyar, Manimala, Achankovil, Kaliyar and Meenachil, have also been overflowing, and officials directed the people living on their shores remain vigilant.

An angry sea making advances at Vizhinjam in Thiruvanathapuram. Fishing activities have been banned in the state. (KB Jayachandran)

An angry sea making advances at Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram. Fishing activities have been banned in the state. (South First)

The officials banned travel on North Kerala’s Kannur-Nedumpoyil-Mananthavady road as the incessant rains washed away significant portions of it.

As a result of the rising water levels in the rivers and the adjoining backwaters, major areas like Kumarakom, Thiruvarppu, Illikkal, and Chengalam have been isolated in the Kottayam district for the last four days.

The sudden landslides and flash floods across the state damaged 90 houses and caused over 300 road accidents on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Kerala government opened 13 more relief camps on Wednesday, taking the total to 166 camps in the state.

Rescue teams shifted dozens of people from low-lying areas and river banks to the camps on Wednesday, and overall, 4,639 people have been shifted to camps during these floods in the state.

Meanwhile, fishing has been banned on the Kerala-Lakshadweep coast till Thursday.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted strong winds with a speed of 40-50 km per hour likely to occur along the Kerala-Lakshadweep coast from Wednesday to Friday.

State preparations

road damaged

The totally damaged Kannur-Manathawady road at Nedumpoyil.  (South First)

National Disaster Response Force teams have been put on standby in the Idukki, Kozhikode, Wayanad, and Thrissur districts.

Four more teams would be deployed in Ernakulam, Kottayam, Kollam, and Malappuram, said the officials.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has tasked the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Law and Order, Vijay Sakhare, and ADGP, Armed Police Battalions, MR Ajith Kumar, to coordinate the state’s rain preparedness.

With the IMD issuing a red alert for 10 districts as heavy rains are predicted in the next 48 hours, their administrations declared a holiday for all educational institutions on Wednesday.

A blue alert has been issued for the Idukki dam as its water level has risen to 2,375.52 ft. The IMD has also issued flash-flood and landslide alerts in these districts.

Given the torrential rainfall prediction, the Kerala State Film Awards ceremony for 2021 has been postponed, something that Minister for Cultural Affairs VN Vasavan confirmed on Facebook. The new date is yet to be announced.

In a move to ensure everyone’s safety, Kerala Revenue Minister K Rajan said on Wednesday, “Flood tourism will not be permitted, and no one would be allowed to visit crisis-affected areas without valid reasons.”