Rain fury in ‘God’s Own Country’: Death toll climbs, over a lakh shifted to relief camps

Thiruvananthapuram: Rains continue to wreak havoc in the north and central districts of Kerala with the death toll rising to 42 as of Saturday morning. The worst affected districts are Kozhikode and Malappuram, with 20 people dead in the floods that struck the districts in the past three days. Landslides in Wayanad and Nilambur are disrupting the traffic and are proving to be a challenge for the rescue and relief operations.

According to government sources, 1,08,138 people from 29,997 families have been moved from their homes and around 1,003 relief camps have been set up across the state. In Kozhikode alone, there are 23,771 people living in 210 relief camps in the district, followed by 24,990 people in Wayanad and 16,684 people in Malappuram.

Wayanad and Nilambur are the worst-affected by landslides as 100 acres of land has been wiped off at Puthumala in Wayanad. Even though people have been stuck under the debris since Thursday night, rescue teams could reach the spot only on Friday afternoon as bridges got washed away and connectivity was cut off.

As of Saturday morning, three bodies have been recovered from Boothanam in Nilambur, which includes two children and a woman, in the rescue operations conducted on Friday.

According to a Manorama report, more than 40 people have been feared to be trapped inside the massive landslide in Puthumala in Wayanad, with official sources reporting 9 causalities from the district. In Kavalapara in Nilambur, 46 people belonging to 18 families are feared to be trapped.

According to reports, one column from Defence Security Corps Centre in Kannur has been deployed at Puthumala.

In Kannur, two causalities have been reported including a person who drowned to death in the Payannur region.

Palakkad and Pala town in central Kerala are also flooded. Certain parts of tribal hamlets in Attapadi have been cut off following a landslide. People have been shifted to relief camps in boats in the affected areas by NDRF personnel.

For Saturday, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued red alert for seven districts in Kerala. These include Ernakulam, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur. Orange warnings have been given to Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Thrissur and Kasargode.