Kerala Floods: Death Toll rises to 27, more rains predicted

Kerala, Oct. 18: The death toll following floods and landslides in Kerala climbed up to 27 on Monday as more bodies were recovered from under the debris at Koottickal in Kottayam district and Kokkayar in neighbouring Idukki district.

According to the state government’s figures, while 13 bodies were recovered from the landslide-hit area of Plappally in Koottickal panchayat, nine were retrieved from Kokkayar. Early Monday morning, as rain abated and rescue operations resumed in Kokkayar, the body of seven-year-old Sachu Shahul was the last to be found. Rescue operations are going on to find the whereabouts of Ancy, a woman who had gone missing near the area where the panchayat office is located during the landslide.

Additionally, there have been deaths by drowning in Kozhikode, Thrissur and Palakkad districts. On Saturday, two people drowned when the car they were travelling in was swept away by floodwaters in the Kanjar area of Idukki district.

Meanwhile, an orange alert was sounded at the Idukki dam at 7 am Monday after the water level in the reservoir touched 2396.86 ft. The full reservoir level is 2403 ft. Ernakulam collector Jafar Malik said in a Facebook post that the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), which manages the dam and generates power from it, has conveyed that the water level in the dam is likely to touch the red alert level of 2397.86 ft by Monday evening and the upper rule level of 2398.86 ft by Tuesday morning.

Malik added that the state-level expert committee will study the water levels and give appropriate directions to the Ernakulam and Idukki administrations. If the dam gates are needed to be opened on Tuesday to release the excess water, its timing and the amount of water to be released will be conveyed in advance to people residing in areas close to the river. Control rooms have been set up at the taluk level to answer queries related to the opening of the dam shutters.

Gates of the Kakki dam in Pathanamthitta district were opened at 11 am after the water level touched 983.5 ft following heavy rains in the catchment area of the reservoir. The maximum level in the reservoir is 986.33 ft.

A high-level review meeting headed by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is in progress in Thiruvananthapuram to take stock of the rising water levels in dams and reservoirs across the state as well as damages inflicted by the floods and landslides in the past few days. The reopening of colleges and other higher educational institutions following the Covid lockdown has been delayed to October 25 now.

Rainfall is expected to resume from Wednesday again, courtesy a fresh spell of easterly wave which likely to affect parts of southern India. The IMD has declared a code yellow alert in 11 of the 14 districts on that day.

Revenue Minister K Rajan has made it clear that with more rain predicted in the state in the forthcoming days, pilgrims cannot be allowed to enter the Sabarimala temple for the festivities associated with the Thulam month. Those stationed in the base camp of Nilakkal must return home, he requested.

House collapses into river after heavy rainfall in Kerala

House collapses into river after heavy rainfall in Kerala
House collapses into river after heavy rainfall in Kerala

Amid heavy rains in Kerala, a video of a house getting washed away by strong water currents of a river in the Kottayam district has gone viral on the Internet. A 14-second clip shared by ANI news agency shows several people standing on the road as the house collapses into the river in Mundakayam on Sunday (October 17, 2021).

Meanwhile, the death toll in incidents related to heavy rains, including landslides and flash floods in Kerala has increased to 22. While 13 bodies were recovered from the Kottayam district, 9 were found in Idukki from various rain-hit areas.

In the high range Idukki district, where a travel ban is also in place due to inclement weather, District Collector Sheeba George said that two persons are still missing.

Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed that it is saddening that some people have lost their lives due to heavy rains and landslides in Kerala and paid condolences to the bereaved families. He also dialled Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the situation arising out of the rains.

“Spoke to Kerala CM Shri @vijayanpinarayi and discussed the situation in the wake of heavy rains and landslides in Kerala. Authorities are working on the ground to assist the injured and affected,” PM Modi tweeted.

“I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being,” he added.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah also said that the Centre will provide all possible assistance to the people of Kerala, who have been affected by heavy rains and resulting floods.

He tweeted that the government was continuously monitoring the situation in parts of Kerala in the wake of heavy rainfall and flooding.

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