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Major floods and landslides hit Kerala, over 64 000 people evacuated

kerala-floods-august-2019

Heavy monsoon rains are falling over Kerala since August 7, increasing river levels and causing deadly floods and landslides. At least 28 people have been killed and 27 others are still missing. More than 64 000 people have been evacuated. 

In 24 hours period to August 8, the weather stations at Mananthavady recorded 260 mm (10.2 inches) of rain, Vythiri 240 mm (9.4 inches) and Peermade 190 mm (7.4 inches).

India Meteorological Department (IMD) had issued red alerts for Saturday, August 10 indicating the possibility of extremely heavy rainfall in seven districts – Ernakulam, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur. Five others, including Alappuzha, Kottayam, Thrissur and Kasargod, have been issued orange alerts.

A massive landslide hit Kavalappara village in Malappuram district around 14:00 local time on August 8, burying 30 of its 70 houses. At least 40 people are feared trapped and three dead, according to early estimates. Authorities said the people living in the area have been warned to evacuate but only 17 families agreed.

Emergency teams consisting of NDRF and police personnel have rescued two people, so far, but have been hampered in their efforts by adverse weather conditions and damaged roads in the area that has made it difficult for equipment to be brought to the site, NDTV reports.

Another landslide hit Puthumala village near Meppadi in Wayanad late Thursday. The slide buried an entire cluster of homes of plantation workers at a tea estate, trapping several people and injuring at least 200 others, officials said. 

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who yesterday chaired an emergency meeting to discuss the situation, has said the floods have killed at least 28 people so far, with seven injured and a further 27 still missing.

A total of 64 013 people have been shifted to 738 camps set up across the state. 

Schools and colleges in all 14 districts of the state were closed today, NDTV reports.

Cochin International Airport has been shut at least until 15:00 LT on Sunday, August 11 due to the rising water level of Periyar River and a nearby canal. 

Featured image credit: The New Indian Express

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