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Kerala floods claim 42 lives, 100,000 in relief camps; UAE issues advisory

In 988 relief camps across the state, 107,699 persons have been shifted. In the worst affected Wayanad, 24,990 persons are in such camps

Agencies  |  Kerala 

Kerala floods
Army and NDRF personnel carry out a rescue operation in a flood affected area of Ernakulam district, Friday, Aug 9, 2019. Photo: PTI

As Kerala continues to battle the torrential downpour lashing its shores, death toll has risen to 42 in rain related incidents, including flooding and landslides, with over 100,000 people moved to relief camps, officials said on Saturday.

Twenty people have been killed in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts, and nine have died in Wayanad in rain related incidents since August 8, officials said quoting reports received till 7 am.

In 988 relief camps across the state, 107,699 persons have been shifted. In the worst affected Wayanad, 24,990 persons are in such camps, they said.

Many people are still feared trapped under debris following major landslides that hit the Wayanad and Malappuram districts and the rescue operations, which were suspended Friday night, have restarted as the day broke, the officials said.

Heavy rain is continuing in Wayanad, hampering the rescue efforts, the officials said.

Kerala floods
An aerial view of flood-hit areas of Aluva in Kochi, Friday, Aug 9, 2019. Photo: PTI

Over 1,000 people have been rescued from the tea plantation village of Puthumala at Meppadi in Wayanad, which was rocked by landslides as portion of a hill came crashing down on several homes and other structures, including a mosque and a temple.

According to Wayanad Sub Collector N S K Umesh, seven bodies have been recovered so far and over 1,000 people have been moved to safer locations.

"The area is dangerous. What we understand is that 15 people are still missing," he said, adding search operations by Army and Disaster Response Force personnel are underway.

With water levels rising, there is a possibility of opening the shutters of Banasurasagar dam, officials have indicated.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said on Friday that the dam could be opened any time.

The district administration is likely to take a decision in this regard after reviewing the situation this morning.

UAE issues advisory

The UAE has issued a travel advisory to its citizens who are either in Kerala or intend to visit the state to exercise extreme caution.

Kerala floods
Swollen water flow following incessant monsoon causing flood and lanslide, near Meppady Puthumala in Wayanad, Friday, Aug 9, 2019. Photo: PTI

According to the UAE's official news agency, Wam, the advisory urges the citizens to follow instructions issued by the Indian authorities in connection with the natural calamity.

"In a second advisory, the Consulate, based in the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram, has urged the UAE citizens visiting Kerala to register with the diplomatic post so that it can keep track of them and ensure their safety and welfare," Wam said.

The Consulate has asked its nationals to contact its dedicated phone number in case of any emergency.

Train services disrupted 

Train services have also been disrupted due to flooding and trees falling on rail tracks.

Southern Railways has cancelled several trains, including the Kannur-Alapuzha Express, on Saturday. Many trains have been partially cancelled with routes cut short to avoid the flooded areas.

MangaluruNagercoil Parasuram Express has been cancelled between Mangaluru and Wadakkanchery, MangaluruNagercoil Ernad Express has been cancelled between Mangaluru and Thrisur, ThiruvananthapuramHyderabad Sabari Express has been cancelled between Thiruvananthapuram and Coimbatore.

The KannurThiruvananthapuram Jan Shatabdi Express has been cancelled between Kannur and Shoranur.

For the day, the Met department has issued a red alert for Ernakulam, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur.

The heavy have also disrupted Eid holiday plans of thousands of Indian expatriates from Kerala due to closure of the Cochin International Airport till Sunday after floodwaters submerged parts of the runway, the Khaleej Times reported.

The deluge continues in the state even as it grapples to fully recover from the extensive damage caused by the floods of August, 2018 that claimed over 400 lives and left lakhs of people homeless.

First Published: Sat, August 10 2019. 13:08 IST