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Kerala Rain: 83 dead, 58 missing

Till Sunday, 2,61,249 people (75,636 families) have been evacuated to 1,639 relief camps across the State.

TAS News Service
August 12, 2019

Kochi: The death toll in rain-related incidents in the State rose to 83 on Sunday, even as most central and north Kerala districts reported diminished rainfall after four days of torrential downpour.

Till Sunday, 2,61,249 people (75,636 families) have been evacuated to 1,639 relief camps across the State.

Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur and Wayanad districts account for a majority of the camps; 58 people are still missing: 50 in Malappuram, seven in Wayanad and one person in Kottayam, the government said in a 9 p.m. update.

In all, 286 houses have been destroyed and 2,966 houses damaged.

“Weather forecasts show heavy rain could persist for two more days in the State. So we need to remain vigilant,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, after a high-level meeting at the State Emergency Operations Centre here.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued orange alerts indicating the likelihood of isolated heavy rainfall in Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasargod for Monday.

With the rain fury abating, rescue operations resumed in the landslip-hit Kavalappara in Malappuram and Meppadi in Wayanad on Sunday morning.

The Army and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) retrieved three more bodies from Kavalappara after an intensive day-long search. With this, the death toll in the tragedy has risen to 12.

One more body was recovered from Meppadi, also on Sunday. Revenue officials identified the deceased as Rani, 53, wife of Panneerselvam whose body was recovered on Friday.

So far, 10 bodies have been recovered from the site. Although Wayanad recorded a dip in rainfall on Sunday, the banks of the Kabani river and its tributaries remain flooded.

In the Upper Kuttanad region of Pathanamthitta district, the situation has turned grim. Floodwaters receding from the upper reaches of Pampa have inundated paddy fields and low-lying regions.

‘’This year, the death toll rose on account of the landslips triggered by heavy rain. The tragedy struck hilly regions and adjoining valleys, not the urban areas,’’ the Chief Minister said. ‘’Rainfall is likely to continue in the hilly regions, so they require special attention,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu’s decision to release water from the Sholayar dam would increase the flow to Parambikulam and Poringalkuthu, causing water levels in the Chalakkudy river to rise, the Chief Minister said.

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