Rains continue to batter Kerala, people shifted to relief camps

Kochi: Rains continued to wreak havoc in many parts of Kerala with northern hill district of Wayanad experiencing widespread landslides and flooding overnight, forcing thousands of people to take shelter at relief camps, officials said yesterday.

Several people fled their homes yesterday due to landslides and land slips in the district part of Western Ghats.

People living in the downstream have been shifted to relief camps. Over 13,800 people have been provided shelter at 124 relief camps in the district.

Low lying areas are inundated, officials said. Shutters of Banasura Sagar Dam were raised further last night to release excess water. Many parts of northern Kerala districts including Kannur, Kasargod, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Palakad also witnessed rains last night.

Two shutters of Cheruthoni Dam part of Idukki reservoir were closed last evening.

The water level in the dam is receding further, alleviating apprehensions of the affected people living downstream, particularly in Ernakulam district.

However, water level in Mullaperiyar Dam rose to 136 ft, prompting authorities to sound caution.

The catchment areas of the dam is receiving rains continuously. Meanwhile, the Travancore Devaswom Board has asked the devotees to avoid their pilgrimage to Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district to participate in the Niraputhari as water level in Pamba River was rising steadily.

Rains had pounded several parts of Kerala yesterday, triggering landslips and compounding the woes of people already reeling under unprecedented floods and downpour which have claimed 39 lives in six days.

The Union Home Ministry’s National Emergency Response Centre (NERC) in New Delhi had said that 187 people have lost their lives in Kerala to the monsoon fury, with 2,406 villages in 14 districts badly hit by rains and floods, and standing crop in over 26,400 hectares damaged. Landslides were reported from various places in Malappuram, Kozhikode, Idukki and Wayanad districts.