New Delhi: Incessant rains in Kerala have taken a horrific turn as the death toll due to rain-related incidents reached 51 on Saturday. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for eight districts and orange alert for 6 districts in Kerala for today. However, the warning will continue through the Sunday with a red alert for three districts and orange alert for six districts in the state.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will visit his Lok Sabha constituency Wayanad in Kerala tomorrow. Gandhi’s earlier visit to Wayanad was cancelled, following the advice of officials. Taking to Twitter, the former Congress president had said that he had cancelled his visit on the advice of officials. He was told that his presence would disrupt relief operations.
“The people of Wayanad, my Lok Sabha constituency, are in my thoughts & prayers as they battle raging flood waters. I was to travel to Wayanad, but I’ve now been advised by officials that my presence will disrupt relief operations. I’m awaiting their OK to travel,” the Congress leader had tweeted on Thursday.
On the other hand, over 100 people have gone missing in the southwestern areas of the state including Wayanad and Malappuram following the rise in the water levels.
Over 1.2 lakh people from nearly 35,000 families have been forced to evacuate their homes and shift to relief camps following over 80 landslides across eight districts in the state. More than 30 people are still missing in the severely affected Malappuram.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Fire and Rescue Department and Forest Department officials have been engaged in search and rescue operations.
Trains, Flight Services Badly Hit
Furthermore, the rains have also disrupted train and flight services in the state. Kerala’s busiest airport, Cochin International Airport, been closed since Friday and is likely to remain shut till Sunday noon until further notice. The Southern Railways also cancelled several trains, including the Kannur-Alapuzha Express.
The heavy rains in Kerala are likely to last till August 14, stated the IMD forecast. As a result, restrictions have been placed barring tourists from entering the Idukki district till August 15 owing to the danger of landslides.
Incessant Rains batter Maharashtra, Karnataka
Meanwhile, several parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra are also facing a severe flood situation because of heavy rains. They are battling a deluge-like situation due to the subsequent landslides in many places.
Nearly 24 people have died in Karnataka, in what was described as one of the worst floods in 45 years by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. Moreover, 28 people have died in Maharashtra in a week following which Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the kin of the deceased.