Thiruvnanthapuram, Aug 08, 2020: The weather department has issued a red alert for several districts in Kerala warning of heavy rains on Saturday, a day after a landslide in Idukki district caused at least 21 deaths in a reminder of the massive 2018 tragedy precipitated by flooding and landslides due to incessant rains and overflowing of dams.
Red alert has been issued for Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur districts for heavy to very heavy rains and an orange alert has been issued for tomorrow for Pathanamthitta, Alapuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Kasargod district in the state. The meteorological department said heavy rainfall will continue till Sunday.
Flood like situation continues to prevail in the state at several places and the state irrigation department has said that all major rivers in the state are in spate and sluice gates of some dams will be opened to ease the pressure. The regional meteorological office in Thiruvananthapuram has confirmed the presence of a low pressure area in the Bay of Bengal and it is expected to gain strength by Saturday triggering heavy rains till Sunday. The National Disaster Response Force has rushed six teams to Wayanad and Idukki, the worst affected districts this year.
“Strong south westerly/westerly monsoon flow prevailing over the Arabian Sea. Under its influence, scattered heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy falls is very likely to continue over Kerala and Mahe during the next 24 hrs,” IMD said.
Meanwhile Ernakulam district administration has declared that the district has suffered a loss of Rs 1.22 crore in widespread damage to houses and agricultural land caused by heavy rainfall on Friday. It informed that 852 displaced people were currently living in 30 relief camps set up by the administration. Eight relief camps have been opened for senior citizens. According to the District Administration, many houses and agricultural lands have suffered huge damage including in Chellanam, the coastal village in the city.
In Idukki, three more bodies were recovered from the Rajamala landslide incident on Saturday as the death toll rose to 21. A search operation is underway for the missing people in the landslide. On Friday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had announced ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakhs to kin of the deceased. Adverse weather conditions are slowing down the operations to rescue affected people. The chief minister had said yesterday that the Indian Air Force could not join the rescue efforts due to adverse weather conditions.
courtesy: Hindustan Times