Kottayam: As heavy rains wreaked havoc in the southern Indian state of Kerala, at least six people died and over a dozen were missing in last 24 hours. The heavy rains caused flash floods and landslides in many parts, prompting the state government to seek the assistance of the defence forces for rescue operations.Also Read - Weekly RT-PCR Mandatory For Unvaccinated Employees In Kerala. Details Here
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- In one of the heavy rains in recent years, the high ranges of central and south Kerala experienced ng almost similar to that of the situation the state faced during the time of devastating floods of 2018 and 2019.
- As per reports, several people have been injured and displaced in rain-related incidents in the state where dams in many districts are nearing their full capacity and small towns and villages in the hilly areas are totally cut off from the rest of the world.
- Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan held a high-level meeting to review the situation and activated the state’s disaster response mechanism. After taking stock of the situation, the chief minister announced that colleges that were to reopen from October 18 should now only open from October 20. The chief minister also decided that the Sabarimala pilgrimage will be avoided till October 19.
- In the meantime, the Met department has issued a red alert for six districts – Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Palakkad and Thrissur. Weather officials said Peermade in the hill district of Idukki received 24 cm rains till 5.30 pm on Saturday.
- State Cooperation Minister V N Vasavan, who reached the neighbourhood of these landslide-hit villages, said bodies of two women and a child who died, were recovered while search was on to recover the body of a man who also lost his life in the incident.
- In a separate rain related incident, a man and a woman–both 30-years-old– died as their car was swept away in the flood waters in Kanjar in Idukki district, police said. Their bodies have been recovered.
- Talking to PTI, Idukki district collector Sheeba George said eight persons are reported missing in the landslip accompanied by heavy rains at Kokkayar in the district. George also added that the rescue efforts were affected due to the subsequent landslips which happened in the area late in the evening. Four houses have been swept away due to the landslides.
- Giving further details, Southern Naval Command of the Indian Navy said it is fully ready for assisting local administration in rescue operations. “Diving&Rescue teams are ready to be deployed at short notice.Helicopters stand-by to be launched once weather is conducive for Air Ops,”, it said in a tweet.
- Earlier, Minister for Cooperation and Registration V N Vasavan said at least three houses have been washed away in Kottayam district and some people feared missing. “At least four landslips have been reported from various parts of Kottayam district. We have sought the assistance of the Airforce to rescue people who are stranded in the Koottickal area. We have received information about some people missing and over 60 waiting to be rescued as water entered their homes,” the Minister told PTI.
- Kottayam and Pathanamthitta are the most affected districts as of now due to heavy rains since Friday night. Visuals have emerged on social media from various parts of Kottayam district, including a KSRTC bus stuck in floodwater and locals rescuing passengers from it.