Thiruvananthapuram: As the toll in floods and landslides in Kerala rose Tuesday to 91, authorities are on a high alert with weathermen forecasting isolated extremely heavy rainfall in the next 48 hours.
A total of 2.26 lakh people, who were displaced by the floods and landslides, have been housed in 1,239 relief camps, officials said.
With the rain fury abating Tuesday in Malappuram, operations were in full swing to trace those missing in a series of landslips at Kavalappara and Kottakunnu since August 8.
According to the government update at 7.00pm, Tuesday evening, 91 people have so far lost their lives in the state – 60 from the three northern districts of Malappuram (31), Kozhikode (17) and Wayanad (12). The toll is likely to go up further as 59 are still missing.
A red alert has been issued Wednesday for the rain-battered Malappuram and Kozhikode districts, IMD sources said, and added that over 20cm of rains are expected in these districts.
Due to the strengthening of the low pressure in the Bay of Bengal, extremely heavy rains are expected to lash several parts of the state, director of IMD here, K Santosh informed.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan toured the worst affected districts of Malappuram and Wayanad. A defence press release said the Chief Minister also made an aerial survey over the flood affected areas in these districts in an IAF Mi-17 helicopter.
Meanwhile, in view of the devastation caused by floods and landslides, Governor P Sathasivam has cancelled the ‘At Home’ function scheduled to be held August 15 at the Raj Bhavan as part of Independence Day celebrations.
Vijayan talked in detail to the flood-hit people at a relief camp in Meppadi. “The government is with you… we need to overcome all difficulties and hardships together,” said the Kerala Chief Minister.
“The government is now giving priority to rescue measures after which it would focus on rehabilitation initiatives. There are several people who have completely lost their houses and properties and suffered crop loss. Some more people, who have gone missing, are yet to be traced and efforts are on to find them,” added Vijayan.
At least 11,159 houses have been damaged partially in various parts of the state and 1057 fully in rain-related incidents.