rain woes

Kerala: Toll in rain-related incidents rises to 37, red alert issued in eight districts

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan conducted an aerial survey of flood-affected areas in the state.

A red alert has been issued in eight districts in Kerala since the weather department has forecast heavy rainfall in the state till Wednesday. At least 37 people have died in the state in landslides and rain-related incidents since Thursday, authorities said.

Crops on 1,031 hectares of land have been damaged and 31,000 people are in relief camps, Reuters reported, quoting the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority.

The State Disaster Management Authority has issued a red alert for Wayanad till Tuesday, Idukki till Monday, and for Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Malappuram, and Kozhikode districts Saturday, The Hindu reported. An advisory issued by the SDMA directed the public to avoid travel through hilly areas from 7 pm to 7 am due to the possibility of landslides.

The India Meteorological Department said rainfall in Kerala, Karnataka and ghat areas of Tamil Nadu is likely to reduce on Saturday and intensify from Monday due to a “fresh surge of monsoon westerlies.”

The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services in Hyderabad has also issued a tidal flooding alert for Kerala till Wednesday. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the Arabian Sea till Wednesday.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan along with Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan, Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and state police chief Loknath Behra conducted an aerial survey of flood-affected areas, reported Manorama Online. Vijayan has also urged public to make donations to the Chief Minister’s distress relief fund.

The helicopter carrying the chief minister could not land in Idukki’s Kattapana due to inclement weather. They later landed in Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad district.

Vijayan has also announced Rs 4 lakh compensation to those who lost their houses and Rs 10 lakh to those who lost their houses and land to flooding and landslides.

Authorities opened a sluice gate of the Idamalayar dam in Ernakulam district on Saturday after heavy rain in the catchment areas of the dam led to a rise in water level at the reservoir. All five gates of the Idukki reservoir have been opened, for the first time in 26 years.

Several parts of Cheruthoni town were inaccessible as water from the Cheruthoni reservoir inundated a main bridge. Water discharged from the reservoir is likely be raised to 8,00,000 litres per second from 7,50,000 litres per second due to persisting rain in catchment areas of the Idukki dam.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, urging him to release sufficient funds to the Kerala government to help respond to the crisis and restore critical infrastructure, PTI reported.

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