New Delhi, Aug 10: Weather gods have continued to cause destruction in Kerala with the state experiencing the heaviest rainfall in 50 years. At least 22 people have lost their lives due to rain-related incidents in the state, officials said on Thursday. All schools and colleges in Idukki, Kollam, Kothamangalam, Kunnathunad, Aluva, Paravur Taluk, and Kadamakkudy will be closed today. The situation continued to worsen as the day progressed and Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Kerala Chief Minister Pinayari Vijayan. He tweeted, “Spoke to Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the situation arising due to floods in various parts of the state. Offered all possible assistance to those affected. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Kerala in the wake of this calamity.”
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has directed for relief material worth Rs 10 crore and a team of doctors to be sent to Kerala. Help in the form of armed forces is also at hand. The Southern Naval Command has sent four diving teams and a Sea King helicopter to Wayanad for evacuating stranded people. The Army has been deployed in Ayannkulu, Idukki and Wayanad. Additional force is moving to Kozhikode and Malappuram. Flood rescue teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have also been deployed in Ernakulam, Alappuzha, Wayanad, Kozhikode and Palakkad to carry out Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief work. The Fire & Rescue Department spent the day rescuing people from low-lying residential areas using boats even as rainwater entered houses in Pathalam, Ernakulam. In Pathalam and Eloor, around 950 people have been rehabilitated. Over 100 houses have been vacated and 12 camps urgently opened at Paravur Taluk. An Inter-Ministerial Central Team will also be visiting the flood-hit areas to gauge the situation.
In Malappuram, a road got washed away after flashflood hit the region. A couple of houses also collapsed because of a landslide.
The Kerala state electricity board issued the third red alert in Idukki reservoir. The dam will be opened tomorrow morning to maintain the water level. Earlier in the day, arrival operations at the Cochin International Airport Limited were suspended for about two hours from 1 PM in view of possible inundation in the airport area following a rising water level in the Periyar river. The airport is situated close to the river.