Kerala rain fury claims 4 more lives, over 22,000 moved to relief camps


Thiruvananthapuram: There was no let-up from heavy rains in Kerala as four members of a family were killed at Edavanna in Malappuram district when their house collapsed on Friday, taking the rain-related death toll in the state to 12, while over 22,000 people have been moved to relief camps.

The Cochin International Airport, where flight operations was suspended till midnight Friday after floodwaters inundated the apron area (parking), will remain closed till 3 PM on Sunday, an official press release said.

Moderate to heavy rainfall with wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph is very likely to at one or two places in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. 

High waves in the range of 3.2-3.7 metres are forecast till 23:30 hours of Saturday along the coast of Kerala from Pozhiyoor to Kasargod. Officials have advised fishermen not to venture into these areas during the period.

Train services on the Mararikulam-Alapuzha route was suspended this morning for a few hours as a tree fell on the track, damaging electric lines. At least 4 trains — Maveli Express, Rajdhani, Dhanbad express and Guruvayur — were held up at various points, railway sources said. 

In Vatakara in Kozhikode district, three people are said to be missing after a landslide. 

Pala town in Kottayam is flooded and traffic movement has stopped. 

At Edavanna in Malappuram district four members of a family, including two children, died in a house collapse, police said. 

Till Thursday, eight people had died in the state, mainly in northern Kerala, in rain-related incidents. 

As per the official updates on Friday morning, 22,165 people have been shifted to 315 relief camps in the state.

In Wayanad, which is among the worst affected, 9,951 people have taken shelter in 105 camps, while in Malappuram, 4,106 people have been shifted to 26 camps.

Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan told reporters that four squads of defence personnel from Bhopal and two from Niligiris are reaching the state to help in rescue operations. 

Several persons are suspected to be missing in the massive landslip reported from Meppadi in Wayanad district Friday, where, a temple, a mosque and a couple of houses and a few vehicles have come under the debris. 

Biju, an eyewitness, said a canteen and residents of plantation workers was also destroyed in the landslide. Many people ran away from the canteen and were rescued.

Nine injured people have been shifted to a hospital.

As the approach road to the mishap site is completely destroyed, local people had to walk at least 6 km to bring the injured to hospital, Biju told a television channel.

There is no power in the area over the past three three days and no communication is possible, he said. 

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who had held a held a meeting with government and state Disaster Management Authority officials on Thursday night, said a “serious situation” is prevailing in parts of the state, especially wayanad. 

Educational institutions and professional colleges in all districts in the state will remain closed Saturday.

Examinations of the Kerala Public Service Commission and various Universities across the state, scheduled for Saturday have been postponed, officials said. (PTI)