Thiruvananthapuram: A ‘red alert’ has been sounded in four districts of Kerala where heavy rains, gusty winds, and widespread landslips have wreaked havoc in several areas after the second spell of the south-west monsoon intensified.
The alert has been sounded in four districts of Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode, and Wayanad, IMD sources said. The water level is rising in most of the rivers and dams across the state with Kannur, Wayanad, Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kasaragod districts facing a flood-like situation.
Major rivers like Manimala, Meenachal, Moovattupuzha, Chaliyar, Valapattanam, Iruvazjinjpuzha and Pamba are in spate.
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A 50-year old man was killed in Attappadi, a tribal hamlet in Palakkad district after a tree fell on his house.
Ten houses were completely damaged in heavy rains and strong winds which lashed across the state since Wednesday night, official sources said.
Torrential rains lashed Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts with rivers overflowing, inundating many low-lying areas. Nilambur, a major town in Malappuram district, has been flooded with the water level rising up to the first floor of many buildings.
Only roofs of shops and houses could be seen in many parts of the submerged town, where people had to use country-made boats and large metal vessels to row themselves to safety. Parked cars and other vehicles were completely drowned and nearly 200 families have been shifted to 10 reliefs camps.
“The town and adjacent areas are flooded. A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is on its way. The fire and rescue team is engaged in evacuating people from their homes,” a Disaster Management official from Malappuram told PTI.
In high-range Wayanad, which had witnessed a heavy loss in the August floods last year, 16 relief camps have been opened and over 2,300 people have been shifted.
A landslide was reported from Chappamala at Iritty taluk in Kannur district. Around 50 families have been evacuated from the taluk, where most places are submerged, since Wednesday night.
Several villages in the hilly areas of Taliparamba in the district were also flooded and the evacuation process is underway, a Kannur revenue official said.
Munnar, a high range tourist destination in Idukki district which bore the brunt during the 2018 floods, has been receiving heavy downpour with the IMD recording 19.4 cms of rain as per the latest report.
Widespread landslips were also reported from across the district with most of the major roads getting blocked and Marayur, the sandalwood forest reserve, getting isolated.
A holiday has been declared for all educational institutions in most of the northern districts including Kannur, Wayanad, and Malappuram, authorities said.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has chaired an emergency meeting of authorities concerned to evaluate the monsoon situation in the state. The chief minister’s office has directed district collectors to evacuate people from danger-prone areas.
According to Disaster Management sources, 29 rain deaths have been reported since the onset of the monsoon on June 6 this year with the death a man in Attappadi on Thursday.
Over 400 people were killed and lakhs were displaced in the August deluge last year, the worst in 100 years.