Thiruvananthapuram: Incessant rains in Kerala have claimed 23 lives in the past two days. Over 22,000 people have been shifted to some 315 relief camps across the state, officials said.
Till late on Thursday the toll was eight, but a fresh count took the numbers to 23 on Friday, according to news agency IANS.
Kerala government has declared a holiday for all schools across the state on Friday,
Train traffic has been disrupted in the state due to the ongoing heavy downpour. Indian Railway has informed that 12 trains have been cancelled. Exactly a year after the 2018 flood, Kerala is once again on the edge. Heavy rains continued to pound many parts of the state for the second consecutive day, causing landslides and widespread destruction and claiming at least eight lives. Reports said about 40 people are trapped under the debris of a big landslide at Meppadi in Wayanad district.
Five districts — Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Idukki and Malappuram — are affected badly with hundreds of people forced to move to safer areas, leaving homes and properties behind. Flights were diverted due to poor visibility, trains were running late and road traffic came to a halt in several places as roads caved in. Rivers including Thodupuzha and Muvattupuzha are in full spate. Periyar rose above the danger-mark after the shutters of small dams like Munnar, Kallarkutty, Lower Periyar, Bhoothathankettu, Poringalkuthu and Malankara were opened as a precaution.
Three bridges in Idukki — Attukudu across Muthirapuzha near Pallivasal, Periyavara across Kannimala river near Munnar and one at Mankulam — were washed away in the gushing waters, cutting off Marayur and Mankulam from the mainland.
With the Met Department predicting more rains during the next 24 hours, the district collectors have declared holiday on Friday in 12 districts, except Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. Three people each died in Idukki and Wayanad districts, one each at Attapady (Palakkad) and Thrissur, taking the death toll since Wednesday to 10.
Flights were diverted from Kozhikode and Kochi. Due to water clogging at the apron, the Kochi airport suspended decided to suspend operations till 9 am on Friday. Worryingly, heavy rains are likely to continue till Saturday with the Met Department declaring red alert in Idukki, Kozhikode and Wayanad districts.
Road traffic got disrupted mainly in north Kerala and Idukki after trees fell on roads
Train services were stopped at many places due to poor visibility and strong winds
Operations suspended at Kochi airport till 9 am on Friday. Many flights diverted and some cancelled at Kochi and Kozhikode airports