Rains batter South India, Kerala worst hit with 42 dead

RSTV Bureau
Kochi: An aerial view of flood-hit areas of Cochin International Airport in Kerala, Friday, Aug 9, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Kochi: An aerial view of flood-hit areas of Cochin International Airport in Kerala, Friday, Aug 9, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Rains continued to hammer South India Friday–Kerala being the worst-hit–with reports of 42 deaths over the past three days, as rail and air services were hit and authorities scrambled to rescue people from low-lying and submerged areas.

People in several districts of Kerala, particularly Wayanad and Malappuram, continued to face the wrath of the rains with landslips and floods leaving 42 people dead in rain-related incidents over the past three days and cutting-off several low-lying regions.

A total of 988 relief camps have been opened across the State with over 1,07,699 people displaced from their houses by the floods and rains being shifted there.

At least 40 people are feared to have been trapped under debris in landslips that shook the worst affected districts of Wayanad and Malappuram, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

The government has sought the assistance of the Indian Air Force, he said.

The Met department has issued a red alert in Ernakulam, Thrissur, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod Districts of the state for Friday and in Ernakulam, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur for August 10.

A year after Kerala was ravaged by the deadliest monsoon that led to the worst deluge in the state’s history in a century, it was again at the receiving end of nature’s fury, prompting government to seek the help of Army and Air Force.

Over 80,000 flood-affected people were evacuated in Karnataka, as neighbouring Tamil Nadu asked the IAF to be on stand by to be deployed for rescue activities in rain-hit

The flood situation in Karnataka worsened on Friday with no let up in rains as the authorities battled to reach out to the needy in the State, where the toll went up to 24.

Twenty four people have died in rain-related incidents so far, chief minister B S Yediyurappa, who has camped in flood-ravaged north Karnataka, told reporters at Bagalkote.

The Karnataka government pegged the damage inflicted by torrential downpour and subsequent floods in the state at Rs 6000 crore even as the toll from various rain-related incidents.

Rescue and relief operations were on in full swing in Kerala with the involvement of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Police, the Fireforce and forest department.

Sreekandapuram in Kannur and adjacent areas have been submerged. The Parassinikadavu shrine in Kannur district has been inundated with people being rescued in country-boats.

Rail, road and air transport took a hit with several trains being cancelled and the Cochin International Airport shut till August 11 due to water logging.

All flights have been diverted to the state capital Thiruvanathapuram for the next two days. Educational institutions remained shut.

The government has suspended the iconic Snake Boat Race which was scheduled to be held in Alappuzha on Friday in the wake of heavy rain.

Examinations of the Kerala Public Service Commission and various universities across the state, scheduled for Saturday, have been postponed, officials said.

Rescue teams comprising personnel from Fire and Emergency Department, State Disaster Response Force, National Disaster Response Force and Army have evacuated 1,24,291 people, an official statement said on Friday.

Floods and rains have left a trail of destruction in vast areas of north,coastal and Malnad districts of the state.

Yediyurappa said he was in constant touch with the Centre and PM Modi, Home minister Amit Shah and Defence minister Rajnath Singh have been briefed on rescue and relief efforts.

(With input from agency)