Flood, landslide hit Kerala again a year after the worst flood in a century

The India Meteorological Department has issued a red alert in four districts, which are Kozhikode, Wayanad, Idukki and Malappuram

Kerala flood
Munnar: Flood water rushes from under the Kovilkadav Bridge, in Munnar, Thursday, Aug 8, 2019. (PTI Photo)

A year after the state went through the worst flood in a century, Kerala is experiencing another serious flood situation, with many places inundated and landslides killing several in the Wayanadu district. 

The Cochin International Airport has closed operations from Thursday night and has been announced to be shut till Sunday 3 pm. 

The state government has announced the opening of 315 flood relief camps across the state, moving around 22,165 people from 5,936 families in the state till Friday morning. Wayanad has the most number of camps at 105, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The shutters of more than 12 dams were opened till Thursday night and the State Disaster Management Authority has said that water has been rising fast in these reservoirs. 

Local reports said that at Meppadi in Wayanad, a huge landslide, reportedly carrying away almost 100 acres, has devastated the neighbouring locations and the number of people trapped under the debris is not known. Bridges and roads have also been washed away, blocking the rescue operations. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Defence Security Core, along with local authorities, have been deployed for the rescue there.  

State authorities are forecasting heavy rainfall, with wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph, to occur at one or two places in the Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts. High waves in the range of 3.2-3.7 meters are forecasted till 11.30 pm on Saturday along the coast of Kerala from Pozhiyoor in the south to Kasargod in the north, said the Chief Minister's Office, advising fishermen not to venture into these areas during this period.

Cochin International Airport Ltd closed down the airport on Thursday night at 10.55 pm as the apron area was waterlogged due to the flood, and all aircraft operations were suspended at Kochi Airport. An update on Friday morning said that the airport has closed operations till 3 pm on August 11, owing to water-logging. 

The India Meteorological Department has issued a red alert in four districts, which are Kozhikode, Wayanad, Idukki and Malappuram -- the same districts that suffered the most during the previous floods during the same month last year. The flood had resulted in an estimated loss of over Rs 30,000 crore last year and the state government has announced various programmes to raise funds for rebuilding the state. There were allegations that the mismanagement in controlling the water level in the dams across the state has resulted in heavy flood and losses during the period.