Kerala rain toll at 50, mudslides wreak havoc; red alert in Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod

Kerala rain toll at 50, mudslides wreak havoc; red alert in Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod


Heavy rain continued in several parts of Kerala, especially northern regions on Saturday taking the death toll to 50. More than 1.3 lakh people have been moved to the over 1,200 relief camps. This time more than flood, it was landslides that was cause for most deaths. Wayanad, which like last year bore the brunt of mudslides, is in the danger zone as a shutter of Banasura Sagar dam was opened at 3 pm today.  As much as 10 cm of water was being released from the largest earthen dam in the country.

The meteorological department has issued a red alert in the district as also Kannur and Kasaragod districts for Sunday. The Cochin airport which had suspended all flight operations since Friday is expected to resume its service by noon on Sunday. At Kavalapara in Nilambur, where several people are believed to have been trapped in mudslide on Thursday evening, rescue operation by the NDRF on Saturday was hampered as there was another landslip. Nine bodies were recovered.

Landslides at Puthumala in Meppadi on Thursday evening which saw a mosque, temple and labourers' shelter home get completely damaged. Many people are feared trapped in the debris. Many parts of the state remained under water. Frequent landslides and blockades continued to hinder rescue operations. Fishermen, like last year, were active in rescue operations and seven migrant workers trapped in a building in Kannur district for the last two days were taken to safety.

This was when even official rescue operation agencies found it near impossible to reach there. Indian Air Force helicopters were in operation in Malappuram district and rescued women and infants. IAF officials also said they are ready to start dropping food supplies and rescue marooned people in the district.The rain fury was at its peak on the northern districts. However, the tourist town of Munnar saw a respite in rain which has lessened the risk of landslides in Idukki district.