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6 more dead, toll mounts to 15 as rains pound Kerala

Travancore Devaswom Board requested Lord Ayyappa devotees to refrain from visiting Sabarimala Temple on 17 and 18 October in view of the continuing heavy rainfall in the state, especially in Pathanamthitta district and the dangerously high water level in Pamba river.

SNS | Thiruvananthapuram |

Six more bodies were recovered from Kerala’s Kottayam and Idukki districts on Sunday taking the total death toll in the state to 15 following the deluge of rains in Kerala with dozens missing, officials said.

The heavy downpour has triggered flash floods and landslides in parts of the state, the water resource minister Roshi Augustin said today morning.

Earlier, the toll stood at six when three more bodies were recovered from Koottikkal in Kottayam district today following a landslide caused by the battering rains, taking the toll to nine.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, “105 relief camps have been set up across the State and arrangements have been made to start more camps”.

Idduki and Kottayam in central and south Kerala which were pounded by rains comprised the 15 casualties – 12 from Kottayam and three from Idukki, the State’s Information and Public Relations Department said on Sunday. In both the districts, many are feared missing due to landslides.

As the rains brought disastrous scenes in various parts of the states, central forces teams including 11 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), two Army and two Defence Service Corps (DSC) teams have been deployed in the south and central parts of Kerala.

A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rescued locals at Muvattupuzha in the rain-hit Ernakulam district, the minister said. A rescue operation by the NDRF is underway at Kokkayar, Idukki.

“Army and Indian Air Force are on stand-by for assistance. We will provide all help to those in need,” said Kerala Minister K Rajan in rain-hit Kottayam district.

Kerala health minister Veena George on Saturday held a review meeting at Pathanamthitta collectorate to assess water-logging in the low lying areas, fearing flood-like situation similar to nearby Kottayam district.

A flood-like situation has arisen in the Ranni town of Pathanamthitta district in Kerala due to heavy rain as George said that the water level in the Achankovil river in the Konni Kalleli area of the district has been reportedly rising in the last three hours.

IMD has issued Red Alert in Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur districts.

Travancore Devaswom Board requested Lord Ayyappa devotees to refrain from visiting Sabarimala Temple on 17 and 18 October in view of the continuing heavy rainfall in the state, especially in Pathanamthitta district and the dangerously high water level in Pamba river.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday held a high-level meeting to intensify the rescue efforts and said that all means will be used to evacuate people stranded in areas flooded due to heavy rains in the state.