Kerala rain death toll at 27; Kottayam, Idukki worst hit


Guwahati: The death toll in rain-related incidents in Kerala rose to 27 on October 17, with the recovery of more bodies from the landslip-ravaged areas of Kottayam and Idukki districts.

While the State experienced a marked reduction in rainfall activity on October 17, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan advised continued caution as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast widespread rainfall again from October 13. The disaster management machinery in the State will function round-the-clock, he said, urging the public to avoid unnecessary travel.

The bodies of more landslip victims were recovered from Koottickal taking the overall toll in Kottayam district to 13. In Idukki, the bodies of eight landslip victims have been recovered from Kokkayar and one body from the nearby Peruvanthanam village, Idukki district collector Sheeba George said.

Kerala also reported a number of drowning deaths, including that of an 18-month girl from Eramala in Kozhikode district. Thrissur and Palakkad districts reported one death each — of a 62-year-old man from Kunnamkulam and a 75-year-old man from Pattambi. Two persons lost their lives at Kanjar in Idukki on October 16 after their car was trapped in floodwaters.

The State Government will provide ₹4 lakh each as financial assistance to the kin of landslip victims in Plapally and Kavali areas of Koottickal panchayat, Revenue Minister K. Rajan said.

Five more teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will be deployed in Idukki, Kottayam, Kannur, Palakkad and Kollam districts, the Chief Minister said on October 17. At present, the NDRF has teams deployed in Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram districts.

Till Sunday, 156 relief camps had been opened in the State, the government said. Across the State, 1,253 families (4,713 persons) have been evacuated to various camps since October 11. This includes 321 families in Kottayam district and 219 families in Idukki.

The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), which reviewed reservoir storage on October 17, said water is being discharged only from the smaller dams at present. The rain havoc on Saturday affected 4.18 lakh electricity connections across the State. The power utility has pegged the overall losses from damage caused to power infrastructure at ₹13.67 crore. 

(Inputs from Agencies)