As the rain fury continued unabated in most parts of Kerala, rocked by 80 landslides and floods over the last three days, the toll climbed to 57 on Saturday even as more than 1.65 lakh people have been displaced from their homes.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is likely to visit his constituency--Wayanad, which is among the worst affected, tomorrow to get first hand information about the rain havoc.
The Indian Meterological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for three districts on Sunday- Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in a tweet that "57 lives have been lost. There are now 1,318 flood relief camps operating across the state. These camps host 1,65,519 persons from 46,400 families".
The maximum deaths were reported from Malappuram district-- 19, while 14 people lost their lives in Kozhikode and 10 in Wayanad.
Official sources said 198 houses were fully damaged and 2303 partially.
Many people are still feared trapped under debris in the two major landslides that hit Kavalappara in Malappuram and Puthumala in Meppadi in Wayanad in the last two days.
In Kavalappara, the Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) police and fire force personnel raced against time amid heavy downpour and pulled out nine bodies from a huge landslide, where many more are feared to have been trapped, official sources said.
Unable to hide his tears, 60-year-old Rajashekharan waited patiently to hear about the nine members of his family, including his wife, daughter and grandchildren, who were missing.
Unconfirmed sources said around 60 people are suspected to be buried in the mud and slush as a portion of the hill came down, flattening several homes in Kavalappara.
In Puthumala, 18 people are missing and nine bodies have been recovered, Kalpetta MLA C K Saseendran told reporters.
From the tribal hamlet of Attapady in Palakkad, a nine month pregnant woman Lavanya, her one-year-old child and husband were rescued in a daring rescue operation by the fire force.
One of the four shutters of the Banasurasagar dam, located about 21 km from Kalpetta in Wayanad, was opened at 3 PM to discharge excess water and people on the banks of the Kabini river were asked to be cautious.
One of the largest earth dams in India and the second largest of its kind in Asia, Banasurasagar impounds the Karamanathodu tributary of the Kabini River.
A red alert has been issued for Kannur, Wayanad and Kasaragod districts on August 11.
Across the state, about 1.45 lakh people have been shifted to 1,221 relief camps.
Landslides and overflowing rivers have caused flooding in several parts of Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Malappuram, Idukki, Palakkad, Thrissur, Kottayam and Kasaragod districts.
Twenty three trains were cancelled fully and five partially, Southern Railways said.
In some relief to passengers, the Kochi airport, which was closed after being inundated, will become operational from tomorrow.
Since August 8, 2,234 houses have been partially damaged, and 196 fully, official sources said.
The Chief Minister said around 80 landslides had occurred in eight districts in the last three days and allayed fears of opening dams, saying all the major dams have enough storage capacity.
"Not all dams are full. We have enough storage capacity in all major dams of the state. As of now only 30 per cent of water is there in Idukki dam. Last year it was nearly 98 per cent," he added.
Opposition leader in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala and KPCC President Mullapally Ramachandran, visited Puthumala in Wayanad on Saturday.
Heavy rains and strong winds lashed Thiruvananthapuram district Saturday, damaging at least 84 houses.
Various agencies, including the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, NDRF, police force, volunteers and fishermen are working jointlhy in the rescue mission at various places.
The deluge is continuing in Kerala even as the state 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.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)