4 dead, 3 missing as rain lashes Kerala; red alert issued

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala is reeling under heavy rain and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued red alert in Kasargod, Idukki, Kozhikode and Kannur districts till 23 July. Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur districts were issued alert today. Orange alert has been issued in Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram till 25 July.

Four people have died in rain related incidents and three are missing. Among the missing are two fishermen from Tamilnadu. While a Coast Guard ship and two boats of Marine Enforcement are searching for the two, the body of Sahayaraju was found in Kollam district. The Navy retrieved the body of Manesh Sebastian, who had gone missing in the Meenachil river of Kottayam district. A media report said Koshy Varghese (53) drowned in the Manimala river at Thiruvalla while fishing and Dileep Kumar (54) from Kollam died when a coconut tree fell on him Friday. A man who had gone into the Fort Kochi beach for bathing is missing.

Coastal areas are bearing the brunt of the rough sea and hundreds of houses have been evacuated from coastal areas. . Six relief camps have been opened by the Thiruvananthapuram district administration and 143 families from the coastal areas have been moved there.

District Collector K Gopalakrishnan issued a release saying that a total of 603 people are in relief camps and food and other necessary items are being provided.

While in Kannur, the district administration has declared holiday for all educational institutions today, in Kottayam district, holiday has been declared for most educational institutions tomorrow.

Tourists have been warned to stay away from Shankumugham Beach in Thiruvananthapuram. Fishermen have been cautioned from venturing into the sea. A minor landslide occurred in Idukki on Saturday at Konnathady village, but there were no casualties.

The rain has caused flooding in many areas, and 12 relief camps have been opened for those living in low-lying areas. 13 houses have been fully damaged so far and 71 partially in the state. “As of now, we have opened two relief camps in Kasargod. Nearly 15 persons have been shifted there. There are many others who have opted to move to their relatives,” a disaster management official from Kasargod said.

Water in the Periyar, Pamba and Chaliyar rivers are reportedly rising. The Kariangode river is in spate and flooded 50 houses in the vicinity. People have been shifted to relief camps Northernmost Kasaragod district received a maximum rainfall of 9 cm, and some places in Kannur received 9.7 cm, said the report.

In a huge relief, four fishers who had gone missing after putting out to sea from nearby Vizhinjam on Wednesday, returned safely Saturday. Their boat had developed a technical fault and was drifting about 28 nautical miles from the shore. The fishermen, who were left without food, have been shifted to a hospital. The families of the missing fishermen had been staging protests at Vizhinjam beach area since Friday demanding immediate action to trace their kin. In Arratupuzha, relief camps have been opened to accommodate the families, who were shifted there after sea water entered their houses.

NT Bureau