Three days of incessant rain and 80 landslides reported in several districts have claimed 52 lives in Kerala; even as the meteorological department has predicted that conditions will improve by Sunday. While the rains weakened in central Kerala; there was no let up in northern districts; where many deaths reported and nearly 125,000 people have been displaced.
A red alert issued in eight districts of Ernakulam, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasargod.
Karnataka too saw no let-up in rains, with 26 people dead in rain related incidents so far. Most rivers are in spate and chief minister B S Yediyurappa has termed the natural calamity the “biggest” in 45 years. The state government pegged the losses caused by rains and floods at Rs 6,000 crore and has sought Rs 3000 crore as relief from the Centre.
At least 235,000 people have been evacuate; 44,013 cattle have been rescue in Karnataka; where the swollen Netravati river has inundated Pane Mangaluru village in Dakshina Kannada district, among other affected regions. Landslides reported near Maranahalli in Sakaleshpur.
In Puthumala in Kerala’s Wayanad district; where a landslide on Thursday destroyed several homes and claimed at least 30 lives; six bodies discovered on Saturday even as more people — many migrant workers — are feared trap under the mud. Kalpetta legislator C K Saseendran said at least nine are missing in this area. More than 50,000 people from the district are in relief camps.
In the neighbouring Malappuram district, at least 60 persons are missing after a major landslide in Kavalapara on Thursday. Rescue operations halted on Saturday after another landslide occurred in the region.
“After the landslide in Kavalapara mud and slush formed a 40-feet high mound. At least 60-old people are trap inside it. It is a difficult task. The CM [Pinarayi Vijayan] has sought military engineering wing’s help,” said Nilambur legislator P V Anwar, who has been camping in the area.
“All are working hard to minimize damage. In some places like Wayanad situation is really serious,” said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who said that he’s constant in touch with the Centre. He will conduct an aerial survey of affected areas on Sunday.
One of the four shutters of the Banasurasagar dam, located about 21 km from Kalpetta in Wayanad, one of the worst affected districts. It was open to discharge excess water and people on the banks of the Kabini river have been ask to be cautious.
Rail services and flight operations from the Kochi International Airport resume on Sunday afternoon, two days after it shut as water entered the runway area due to heavy rains and floods, an official said on Saturday. Check-in will resume at 9 am on Sunday in both domestic and international terminals. “The runway is intact in flood this time. No tear marks/ slush reported on runway,” the official said.
3000 evacuated in TN
Cauvery river in Karnataka receiving abundant rainfall, 1 lakh cusecs of water have been released into Mettur Dam.
Drummers sent to riverside villages in the district to warn them to stay away from the river. A flood alert sounded in five villages following discharge of surplus water from Pykara dam, which reached its full capacity of 96 feet due to incessant rains.
Rainfall in western districts of Tamil Nadu saw no let up with more than 3,000 people evacuated in Coimbatore and Nilgiris districts.
Indian Air Force rescued 11 people, including two infants from rain-battered Avalanchi and shifted them to Coimbatore for medical help.