At least 20 people have died in rain-related incidents over the past few days in parts of South India, even as torrential rains, gusty winds and landslips left a trail of destruction and disrupted train and road transport services Thursday.
Eight deaths were reported from Kerala and three in Tamil Nadu on Thursday.
A massive landslip has been reported from Meppadi in the hilly Wayanad district where, according to a MLA C K Saseendran, a temple,church, couple of houses and few vehicles have come under soil and several people feared missing.
The Cochin International Airport Ltd has suspended its operations Thursday for four hours till midnight as a precautionary measure, an Airport spokesperson said, without elaborating.
This has led to diversion of flights coming to Kochi airport.
An alert has been sounded in four districts where heavy rains and landslips have wreaked havoc in several areas.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy conducted an aerial survey of the flood-hit Polavaram and Devipatnam regions in East and West Godavari districts, even as the water level at Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage at Dowaleswaram crossed the second danger mark.
Torrential rains battered hilly Nilgiris and Coimbatore districts of Tamil Nadu.
Avalanche, a tourist destination in Nilgiris district, has received 82 cm rain in the last 24 hours, the highest this season, the weather office said.
In Karnataka, about 44,000 people have been evacuated from flood-hit and rain-hit areas of the state, where the rain fury has left nine people dead in the past few days, as authorities Thursday intensified rescue and relief operations.
The worst-hit was Belagavi district, where six people have lost their lives. As many as 40,180 people have been evacuated in the district.
Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, camping in Belagavi supervising relief and rescue operations, appealed to people to donate generously saying that at least Rs 5,000 crore would be required for relief and rehabilitation.
The Belagavi district administration has declared holiday for schools and colleges till August 10.
In Kerala, a ‘red alert’ has been sounded in Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad, IMD sources said.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who chaired an emergency meeting this morning to take stock of the situation, said the state should be prepared for more downpour.
The chief minister’s office has directed district collectors to evacuate people from danger-prone areas.
The Army has swung into action for relief and rescue operations in Wayanad and Coorg, a defence release said.
Road transport and train services were disrupted across Kerala, railway sources said.
According to disaster management authority sources, three people from Idukki, one each in Kannur, Palakkad and Thrissur and two in Wayanad died in rain related incidents Thursday. A one-year-old girl was among the dead.
Barring Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts, educational institutions will remain closed in rest of the 12 districts on August 9 following heavy rains.
All exams by the Kerala Public Service Commission and various Universities across the state, scheduled for tomorrow, have been postponed, officials said.
Water level is rising in most rivers and dams across the state with Kannur, Wayanad, Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kasaragod districts facing flood-like situation.
Water entered the famous Lord Shiva temple situated on the banks of the Periyar.
The state government has asked tourists not to travel to high range areas including Idukki while restrictions have been imposed in Ponmudi,a hill station near Thiruvanathapuram.
Rains lashed Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts with rivers overflowing,inundating many areas.
Nilambur, a major town in Malappuram, has been flooded with water rising up to the first floor of many buildings.
Munnar, a high range tourist destination in Idukki district which bore the brunt during the 2018 floods, has been receiving heavy rain,according to reports.
Widespread landslips were also reported from across the district with most major roads getting blocked and Marayur, the sandalwood forest reserve, getting isolated.
Disaster Management sources said 36 deaths have been reported since the onset of monsoon on June 6 this year.
In Andhra Pradesh, heavy downpour in upper catchment area in Odisha resulted in copious inflows into Vamsadhara and Nagavali rivers, the State Disaster Management Authority said.
NDRF and SDRF teams, besides Fire and Rescue Services Personnel, have been deployed in Srikakulam district for rescue and relief operation in view of the flood situation.
On his return from New Delhi, Jagan conducted the aerial survey by helicopter and later held a review meeting with ministers and officials at Rajamahendravaram airport.
Jagan announced a special relief of Rs 5,000 to each flood-affected family which have lost their livelihood.
Srisailam reservoir on the Krishna continued to receive heavy inflow from upstream Almatti and Jurala.
The water level at Srisailam stood at 876.5 feet on Thursday evening, inching closer to the full reservoir level of 885 feet, officials said.
The district administration has opened 11 relief camps in three ‘mandals’, where 3,297 people were accommodated and provided food.
In Tamil Nadu, heavy rains also lashed Theni, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts.
About 100 families were sheltered in 16 relief camps in the high ranges of Nilgiris, where many areas have been flooded and left with no power supply.
In Coimbatore, two contract labourers were killed and another critically injured when the godown keeping railway parcels collapsed in the early hours Thursday, police said.
A 65-year-old man died after his house collapsed near Udhagamandalam following incessant rains over the past four days, police said.
(With inputs from agency)