Heavy rains across Kerala; Rescue works affected

Govt announces assistance

Rescuers carry the body of a victim after extracting it from the debris after a landslide caused by torrential monsoon rains in Kavalappara in Malappuram district in the southern state of Kerala, India, August 13, 2019. (REUTERS/Stringer)

After a respite of a couple of days, Kerala is again in the grip of rain havoc as heavy rains were reported at many parts of the state, including Kasaragod, leading to flooding.

Heavy rains were reported from Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Idukki, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts. Hundreds of families from many low lying areas were shifted to relief camps. Many areas near Neeleswaram in Kasaragod were reportedly flooded.

Rain also affected rescue work at major landslide-hit area of Kavalapara in Malappuram. One more body was recovered from the debris at Kavalapara on Wednesday morning, taking the total number of bodies recovered from the spot to 26. As many as 33 persons were still missing from the locality.

At Puthumala in Wayanad, another major landslide-hit area of Kerala, about ten persons were still missing. Apart from sniffer dogs, mapping experts and advanced sensors were also being used to detect the presence of anyone, dead or alive, beneath the debris, which is spread over a vast area.

The IMD forecasts extremely heavy rain at three north Kerala districts - Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kannur on Wednesday. A red alert was sounded at these districts. Heavy rains were forecasted at eight districts.

The total death toll in rain and landslides over the last week reached 95, while 59 persons were still missing.

Assistance

A meeting of Kerala cabinet on Wednesday decided to allow immediate assistance of Rs 10,000 to each family affected by natural calamities.

A compensation of Rs 4 lakh would be given for houses fully damaged in the natural calamities and those who fully lost house and land would be given Rs 10 lakh. Partially damaged houses would get compensation as per the extent of the damage.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that thrust would be given to environment protection as natural calamities were recurring in Kerala.

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