Kerala is facing one of its worst floods. Death toll has crossed 80 with five people being killed in landslides in Palakkad on Thursday.
Torrential rains have led to the collapse of public transport system in many parts of the state. The south railways and Kochi metro have suspended operations. The Kochi international airport is shut until Saturday after water entered the airport area.
Red alert has been sounded in all 14 districts of the state with most of the rivers in spate.
Incessant rains for over 24 hours has worsened the situation. Shutters of 35 dams including that of the Mullaperiyar are open.
Twelve fresh teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been rushed by the Centre to the state. Six teams each are being airlifted from Delhi and Gandhinagar (Gujarat) and they will be dropped at Thiruvananthapuram.
Only yesterday, 4 teams of the federal disaster contingency force were sent to Kerala and with their addition the total number of NDRG teams operating in the state had gone up to 18.
So far, NDRF teams have rescued 7 people and evacuated 685 people in the state.
Flood waters have reached even second floors of various homes and people have taken shelter in the terraces of their houses. They are trapped with no drinking water, food and power. Navy has been getting SOS from several marooned people.
The situation in the Pathanamthitta district has been unprecedented with the Pampa river in overflowing. Hundreds of people are stranded at several places there. Landslides have also claimed lives in the district. Air Force carried out rescue operations at an engineering college there where students were stranded.
There are reports of landslide from Thrissur district too. Major tourist centres including Munnar is virtually inundated.
Rains also did not spare Thiruvanathapuram city with low lying areas being inundated, prompting residents to shift to relief camps.
According to the state government more than 1.5 lakh people have been lodged in these camps across the state.
Holiday has been declared for educational institutions in all districts barring Kasaragod on Thursday while colleges and universities have postponed exams. Power supply, communication systems and distribution of drinking water have been disrupted in various parts of the state.
(With inputs from PTI)