Members of a rescue team wade through a water-logged area on the outskirts of Kochi, Kerala. Reuters
Two women were dead and over 2,600 people evacuated after heavy rains battered several parts of Kerala, said state Revenue Minister E. Chandrashekeran said on Thursday.
With the southwest monsoon remaining active in Karnataka, heavy rains across various regions of the state wreaked havoc, flooding villages and towns and disrupting normal life, an official said on Wednesday.
"Schools and colleges will remain closed till August 10 due to forecast of heavy rains over the next 2-3 days across the state, flooding in many villages and towns in coastal, central and northwest districts of the state and affecting normal life and transport due to damage to roads and railway tracks," the official told reporters.
Kerala’s Chandrashekeran told the media that districts like Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, Wayanad, Kasargode and Idukki were the worst affected areas.
On Wednesday morning, a 50-year-old woman, Kara, died after a tree fell over her house in Palakkad district's Attapady. Twenty-four-year-old lady Muthu fell unconscious and died after her house in Panamaram village in Wayanad was flooded. More than 400 people were evacuated from their houses in Nilambur area alone.
"At the moment, 2,600 people have been kept in 47 relief camps in these places. Three teams of the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) have started their work at Malappuram, Wayanad and Idukki. We have requested 10 more teams, of which five from Arkonam (Tamil Nadu) have started their journey," said Chandrashekeran.
Nilambur police official A.P. Sunil told the media that while they transferred around 100 people to safer places, some have refused leave their houses. "If they do not come out on their own, they will be forcefully taken out," he said.
Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy rains in the state till August 14. Red alerts have been issued for the day at Idukki, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kozhikode districts.
Barring the state capital district and neighbouring Kollam, the remaining 12 districts have been affected by the rains.
Fishermen have also been warned not to visit the beaches because of the winds blowing at the speed of 40-50 km per hour.
Traffic on the Kannur-Kozhikode national highway and Kottayam-Kumili route have been badly affected.
Inbound tourists to Idukki district have been warned not to come till August 15 as the hilly district have been witnessing landslides at a few places.
Indo-Asian News Service
Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muralidharan stated that there exists no ban on accepting foreign contributions towards Kerala flood relief. “Nobody has said not to accept foreign funds for flood relief”,
Jadeja was part of the rescue team and walked for over 1.5 kms carrying two of them on his shoulders, despite an injury to his leg.
Seasonal monsoon rains from June to September are a crucial lifeline for agrarian Indian society, delivering 70% of the country's rainfall, but they also bring in their wake death and destruction every year.
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