Bengaluru: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has cancelled his official functions for the day and called an urgent meeting of top officials to address the flood situation in Kerala. According to initial estimates by a senior government official privy to the discussions, losses for the state in the last 24 hours were “more than 3,000 crore."

According to a statement issued by the state’s disaster management cell on Wednesday, the rains affected nearly 3,393 hectres of agricultural land, leading to loss of crops worth 55.18 crore, between 8 August and 9 am on Wednesday. Figures, however, does not include damages to roads or other public properties.

“Areas that did not see floods earlier such as Trivandrum are flooded this time. A lot of roads and bridges were just washed away," said the official quoted above said, requesting anonymity. However, a clear picture could only be arrived by the end of the day, he added.

Kerala started receiving unusually heavy rains since Tuesday night, just when it was returning to normalcy after floods killed 39 over the weekend. All weather stations in Kerala recorded over 100 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours, with some like Kozhikode recording over 400 mm. The state opened 33 of its dams, a first in history. Kochi airport has been shut until Saturday and all 14 districts are on high alert. The rains are likely to continue till Thursday, according to the Indian Meteorological Department.

Tourist hotspots such as Munnar and Wayanad, as well as pilgrim centre Sabarimala, among others, are practically cut off in flash floods and landslides, according to local reports. Authorities are evacuating tourists and local families in these regions. The government has asked the public not to panic.

Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan has also cancelled his official functions to travel to Aluva, where the airport is situated. “We cannot yet state a loss figure, but clearly there is severe damage all across the state," he said over phone.

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