Bengaluru: A year after its worst floods, a torrential downpour that has been nonstop for the last 24 hours is throwing normal life out of gear in most northern districts and central hilly district Idukki in Kerala. So far, only one death has been reported in the local press, from Palakkad district's tribal belt Attappady Region, where a person named Kara died because of a tree falling down on his roof.
Kerala chief minister PInarayi Vijayan has called for an emergency meeting to review the rain situation with senior officials. Meanwhile, Etihad has cancelled a Doha-bound flight from Kozhikode airport in the morning and three other incoming flights to the airport were diverted to Kochi airport due to the heavy rains. Local channels report widespread damage in tourism hub Munnar in hill district Idukki, with several houses gone underwater. Authorities have issued warnings against travelling to hilly regions.
Several single-story houses in Kozhikode district's Nilambur also remain inundated, local reports said. Visuals on social media showed widespread damage of livelihoods and properties in the rural parts of Kannur and Wayanad district too. Some thousand people have been evacuated so far from the affected regions, as per the state disaster management cell. A unit of National Disaster Response Force team has sent to Idukki and Wayanad to help with evacuation. The state is likely to request ten more such units.
The state has declared holiday for all educational institutions in seven districts— Kasargode, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Kottayam, Idukki. Schools in parts of Attappady are also shut down. Television visuals showed roads and bridges inundated with water in several parts of north Kerala.
Two landslides were reported in Kannur and Kozhikode districts each, according to local news channel Manorama News. Some 32 families from Ambayathode in interior Kozhikode, which faced massive landslides in 2018 floods, were moved to relief camps on Tuesday night. Several regions across the state, including in the capital Thiruvananthapuram, has been massive power outages since Tuesday night.
Indian Meteorological Department has issued red alert, in view of extremely heavy rains, in three districts for Thursday— Kozhikode, Malappuram and Idukki. The shutters of two smaller dams in Idukki— Kallarkutty and Lower Periyar— will be opened, the state said.