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Kerala flood: Heavy rains, landslides wreak havoc in state; red alert issued in 4 districts

BusinessToday.In     August 8, 2019

Monsoon has wreaked havoc in Kerala. Red alert has been issued in four districts - Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad - following heavy spells of rain, gusty winds and landslides across the state. The second spell of the south-west monsoon intensified, resulting in such deluge. Water levels in most of the rivers and dams across the state have risen flooding nearby areas.  Major rivers like Manimala, Meenachal, Moovattupuzha, Chaliyar, Valapattanam, Iruvazjinjpuzha and Pamba are have risen.

The Chief Minister's office has asked district collectors to evacuate people from danger-prone areas. A holiday has also been declared for all educational institutions in most of the northern districts including Kannur, Wayand and Malappuram, authorities said.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan chaired an emergency meeting to evaluate the situation in the state. "We have requested more NDRF teams to be sent to the state. Already two teams have been sent to Nilambur and Idukki," a CMO release said.

A 50-year old man lost his life 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, leading to floods in many low-lying areas. Nilambur, a major town in Malappuram district, has been flooded. Water level has risen up to the first floor of many buildings in the town. Only rooftops of houses are visible in many parts of the submerged town.

Parked cars and other vehicles were completely drowned and nearly 200 families have been shifted to 10 relief 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 Wayanad, which had witnessed 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 area.

Several villages in the hilly areas of Taliparamba in the district were also flooded and 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.

Landslides were also reported from across the district with most of the major roads getting blocked. Marayur, the sandalwood forest reserve, has also been impacted.

(With PTI inputs)

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