Kochi: As the rain fury continued in most parts of Kerala on Saturday, except central Kerala districts, government agencies maintain high alert levels across the State.
The death toll in rain-related calamities climbed to 65 at the time of filing this report. Over the past three days, 19 deaths have been reported in Malappuram, 14 in Kozhikode and 10 in Wayanad, a 9 p.m. government update said. More than 1.96 lakh people (55,749 families) have been evacuated to 1,392 relief camps so far, the government said.
Two days after a massive landslip struck Kavalappara in Malappuram, hopes of finding around 40 people alive faded by sundown on Saturday. Nine bodies have been recovered so far. Two fresh landslips were reported in nearby hills in the afternoon.
At the landslip site at Puthumala, Meppadi, in Wayanad one more body was recovered on Saturday. Nine bodies have been retrieved from the area so far. Inclement weather forced rescue workers to halt the search operations temporarily by noon,
One spillway shutter of the Banasurasagar reservoir, maintained by the Kerala State Electricity Board, in Wayanad was opened 10 cm as a precautionary measure.
North Kerala districts can expect heavy rainfall on Sunday also. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued red alerts for Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, addressing the media after a review of the situation, said 80 landslips have struck eight flood-hit districts over the past two days. ”Landslips are occurring in the most unexpected places. Rescue operations are in progress in all the affected districts,” he said.
Flood and landslips continued to paralyse normal life in Kasaragod, forcing more people to flee their homes to safer locations. The worst-hit areas in the district are in Hosdurg and Vellarikkundu taluks.
Though the intensity of the rain diminished in Kannur on Saturday, crisis persists in low-lying areas close to riverbanks. In all, 8,707 people have been evacuated to relief camps opened in different parts of the district since August 7.
Despite the dip in rainfall, the threat of landslips continue to loom over Idukki. Fresh landslips were reported at Attapallom, near Kumily, and Kudayathur, near Thodupuzha.
In addition to the Central and State forces, more than 900 fishermen will be part of the rescue operations, the government said.