At least 24 people have died in Kerala due to flash floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains since Saturday. While the rain subsided by Sunday afternoon, authorities kept up a strict vigil with the threat of landslides.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued yellow alert -possibility of severely bad weather – in 11 districts for Monday.
Weather experts claim cloudburst could be one of the reasons for heavy and unseasonal rain at several places in Kottayam and Idukki districts.
Here are the latest developments:
• Twenty two bodies – 13 from Kottayam district and nine from Idukki – have so far been recovered, the authorities in Kerala said. According to a release issued by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), two people from the Idukki district are still missing and the rescue operations will continue on Monday.
• The low-pressure area formed in the Arabian Sea near Lakshadweep has weakened but the IMD said in its forecast that heavy rains will continue till Monday evening.
• Heavy rain triggered two major landslides in Idukki and Kottayam districts – two worst-hit areas are Kootickal in Kottayam and Kokkayar in Idukki. Peerumedu in Idukki district witnessed maximum rainfall, nearly 24cm.
• A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been deployed in each district Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram. In addition, five more teams have been directed to be deployed in Idukki, Kottayam, Kollam, Kannur and Palakkad districts.
• The release from the CMO said that two teams of the Indian Army are deployed in Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam respectively.
• Fishing in Kerala, Karnataka and Lakshadweep off the coast has been completely banned till Monday. Kerala-Karnataka-Lakshadweep coast is likely to experience high tides and rough seas till 11.30pm on October 18, according to IMD.
• Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the weather department has warned of possible thundershowers and strong winds across Kerala till October 21.
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Vijayan on Saturday and discussed the prevailing situation in Kerala. “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 later said on Twitter.
• Union home minister Amit Shah said the Centre will provide all possible assistance to the people of the state. He tweeted that the government was “continuously monitoring the situation in parts of Kerala in the wake of heavy rainfall and flooding”.
• State Revenue Minister K Rajan said an assistance of ₹4 lakh will be given to the relatives of those who have lost their lives.
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