At least five people were killed in Kerala on Saturday as heavy rain triggered landslides and flash floods in several districts, NDTV reported.
Three of the five who were in Kottayam district’s Koottickal town, Onmanorama reported. Ten people are also missing in the town. Minister of Cooperation VN Vasavan said that 60 people were waiting to be rescued in Kottayam district.
A landslide was also reported from Malayalappuzha Musliyar College in Pathanamthitta district, according to Onmanorama. Another landslide took place in Kattappana town in Idukki district.
The Kerala government has requested assistance from the Indian Air Force to rescue people in areas where landslides have occurred following heavy rains, News18 reported. The chief minister’s office said that at least 16 people have been missing in Kottayam district after landslides. Police and firefighters have been unable to access the area.
The weather department on Saturday issued a red alert in five districts of the state, reported PTI.
The red alert was issued for Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Thrissur and Kottayam districts. An orange alert was issued for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Palakkad, Malappuram and Kozhikode districts, reported The Hindu.
A red alert signals extremely heavy rainfall, while an orange alert is for heavy to very heavy rain.
The India Meteorological Department in Kerala said the state is expected to receive isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall and isolated extremely heavy rainfall till Sunday morning, reported ANI. It said that isolated heavy rainfall was also expected on Monday and the intensity could reduce from Tuesday.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the India Meteorological Department has warned of heavy rainfall in the state due to a low pressure area formed over the Arabian Sea. In a Facebook post published at 11.30 am on Saturday, he urged the residents to maintain vigil for the next 24 hours.
Vijayan said that the rainfall has already hit the south and central districts of the state and would intensify in the northern parts by evening according to the weather forecast.
The chief minister said that the water level in some rivers was expected to rise and dams are likely to overflow. He advised people living in these areas to follow the instructions issued by the authorities.
Four shutters of Neyyar Dam in Thiruvananthapuram district were raised by 240 cm, the authorities said. They added that the shutters of Aruvikkara Dam on the Karamana River would be raised to 350 cm from the present 310 cm in the afternoon.
Water level is also rising in many rivers, including Manimala and Meenachal.
Meanwhile, waterlogging was reported from several parts of Thiruvananthapuram district following the rainfall, reported Onmanorama. Kuttanad region that spreads to Alappuzha and Kottayam districts also reported waterlogging.
Roads were destroyed in many areas, including in Kollam and Kottayam districts.
Around 30 houses were damaged in Kollam district, The Hindu reported. In the Munroe Thuruth village, heavy waterlogging partially damaged four houses.
The government has also opened 55 relief camps in 17 villages of Karungapplly taluk of Kollam district, The Hindu reported. The taluk has incurred loss of Rs 4 lakh over the last 24 hours.
A portion of a wall collapsed at Chempakamangalam area in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday night. Two children present in the area, however, managed to escape unhurt.
Meanwhile, a woman died after her car was washed away in Molamattom in Idduki district.
The Thrissur district administration urged residents living in low-lying and disaster prone areas to move to safer places. They also said that fishing boats have been prohibited from venturing into the sea.
Health Minister Veena George has called a virtual meeting of MLAs in Pathanamthitta district, which had witnessed widespread destruction during the massive floods in 2018.
Revenue Minister K Rajan also convened a meeting of district collectors to coordinate with the disaster management authorities and take stock of the damage caused by the rain across the state.