Memories of the disastrous 2018 flood have returned to haunt the people of Kerala as incessant rains claimed at least 23 lives in the past two days.
The heavy rainfall has thrown the normal life out of gear triggering landslides and flooding several low-lying regions across the southern state.
According to Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KDSMA), 22,165 people have been evacuated to safety and lodged in 315 camps across the state.
The state government has declared a holiday for all educational institutions across the state today.
Meanwhile, 54 people were rescued by NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) from Puthumala near Meppadi in Rahul Gandhi’s Wayanad constituency after a landslide occurred in the area on Thursday evening.
Rahul Gandhi had expressed his concern over the heavy rainfall and landslides in his constituency. He said he spoke to the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and also urged for help from the Centre. Authorities are trying their best to get the Air Force to begin rescue operations.
Flight operations at Cochin International Airport have been stopped till August 11 (Sunday), 3 pm due to heavy rains, airport officials informed.
Flight operations were stopped till 9 am today, but it had to be extended after the apron area at the Kochi airport got flooded, Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) posted on its Facebook page.
Indigo Airlines tweeted announcing that all flights to and from Kochi have been suspended as the airport remains closed for operations due to flooding.
#6ETravelAdvisory: Due to airport closure at #Kochi, all flight operations to/fro #Kochi have been suspended for today (Aug 09, 2019). Please visit Plan B https://t.co/Oq5OqwbyNF to opt for alternate options or get a refund.
— IndiGo (@IndiGo6E) August 9, 2019
The worst affected districts include Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, Wayanad, Kasargode and Idukki and the deaths have also been reported from these areas.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has sought the Indian Army’s help in relief and rescue operations.
The situation worsened as the pace of the rising level of water is causing serious concern in parts of Pathanamthitta and Thrissur with most of the rivers there in spate.
The railways have cancelled 12 trains and many had to be diverted. Road traffic has also been thrown out of gear with many stretches vanishing under water.
— Vishnu Cambil (@CambilVishnu) August 8, 2019
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday night held a meeting with government and State Disaster Management Authority officials and said a serious situation prevails in parts of the state, especially in Wayanad.
High waves of 3.2-3.7 meters are forecast till 23:30 hours of August 10 along the coast of Kerala from Pozhiyoor to Kasargod, Kerala CMO informed.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into these areas for the above mentioned period.
Alert: High waves in the range of 3.0 – 3.5 meters are forecasted till 23:30 hours of 09-08-2019 along the coast of Kerala from Pozhiyoor to Kasargod. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea.
— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) August 8, 2019
The Chief Minister on Thursday visited the State Disaster Management Authority’s state-level control room to assess the coordination of disaster management activities.
Moderate to heavy rainfall with wind speed reaching 40 to 50 kmph is very likely to occur at one or two places in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts, the Chief Minister’s Office informed.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy rains in the state till August 14.
In 2018, Kerala braved the worst floods in nearly a century that left some 370 people dead, more than a million people homeless and caused widespread destruction.