Idduki: In the wake of heavy rains in Kerala, a red alert has been sounded in four districts– Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad. The state is battling with the deluge-like situation following heavy spells of rains and subsequent landslide.
Flight operations have been suspended at the Cochin International Airport till 3 PM Sunday.
Kerala State Disaster Management Authority said on Friday that 22,165 people were evacuated to safety and lodged in 315 camps across the state.
The Kerala government has also declared a holiday for today for all schools across the state.
Meanwhile, at least nine people were killed and several others injured due to heavy rains and floods in 12 northwest and coastal districts of Karnataka, an official said.
“Of the 9 rain-related deaths, 6 were in Belagavi, 2 in Uttara Kannada and one in Shivamogga. About 50 cattle also perished or washed away in floodwaters,” the official told news agency IANS.
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State Revenue Minister E Chandrashekeran said on Thursday that the worst-hit districts in the state were Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, Wayanad, Kasargode and Idukki.
In Idukki, heavy rain and landslides were reported with Peermade, Idukki and Devikulam taluks in the district suffering the most damage.
In a high-level meeting yesterday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan directed educational institutions in Malappuram, Wayanad to remain shut for two days. Further, he asked the top government officials to take stock of the situation.
The IMD has predicted heavy rains in Kerala till August 14.
Except for the districts of Thiruvananthapuram and the neighbouring Kollam, the rest of the 12 districts in Kerala have been affected by the downpour. Notably, the traffic on the Kannur-Kozhikode national highway and Kottayam-Kumili route have been badly affected too.
Restrictions have been placed barring tourists from entering the Idukki district till August 15 owing to the danger of landslides. Besides, fishermen were also warned to avoid venturing into the sea as the winds are recorded to be blowing at a speed of 40-50 km per hour.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that he would request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to assist in the rescue operations for his Wayanad constituency which is prone to landslides following the rainfall in the region. Rahul said, “I am very concerned about the rainfall and landslide in my constituency (Wayanad). I have talked to officers there and also talked to the Chief Minister of Kerala over it. I will also take this up with the Prime Minister and request him for assistance.”
He was planning to visit his rain-battered constituency. However, he cancelled the plan as the Collector told him that his visit would disturb the rescue operations.