Kerala rain: Death toll rises to 12, over 22,000 moved to relief camps

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala is reeling under heavy rain and the death toll rose to 12 today.

According to a media report, a house in Malappuram district collapsed killing four members of a family today morning.

The government has shifted more than 22,000 people to relief camps. Educational institutions in all districts in the State will remain closed on Saturday, and examinations of the Kerala Public Service Commission and various Universities scheduled for Saturday have been postponed.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) report, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts will experience moderate to heavy rainfall and wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph.

High waves in the range of 3.2-3.7 metres are forecast till 23:30 hours of Saturday along the coast of Kerala from Pozhiyoor to Kasargod. Fishermen have been warned not to venture into the seas in these areas.

Flight operations have been suspended at the Cochin International Airport till midnight today and the airport will be closed till 3 pm on Sunday. A tree fell and damaged the electric lines because of which train services – Maveli Express, Rajdhani, Dhanbad express and Guruvayur – on the Mararikulam-Alapuzha route was suspended this morning for a few hours.

In Vatakara in Kozhikode district, three people are said to be missing after a landslide. Pala town in Kottayam is flooded and traffic movement has stopped. At Edavanna in Malappuram district four members of a family, including two children, died in a house collapse. 22,165 people have been shifted to 315 relief camps in the State today.

Wayanad is among the worst affected areas and 9,951 people have been shifted to 105 camps.  A massive landslide occurred in the district and several persons are reportedly missing. A canteen and houses of plantation workers were also destroyed in the landslide. In Malappuram, 4,106 people have been shifted to 26 camps.

Four squads of defence personnel from Bhopal and two from Niligiris are said to be reaching Kerala to help in rescue operations.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan held a meeting with government and state Disaster Management Authority officials yesterday night. He said a serious situation was prevailing especially in Wayanad.

NT Bureau