Thiruvananthapuram: After pounding Kerala for days, rains abated Sunday even as the death toll in the monsoon fury mounted to 60 with over 2.27 lakh people being sheltered in 1,551 relief camps across the state.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan held a meeting with senior officials Sunday morning to review the flood situation and later told reporters that the death toll in rain-related incidents since August 8 has touched 60. The Kerala Chief Minister said even though the rains have subsided in the state, people should remain vigilant.
“There is respite from the rains today in the hills. But we need to be cautious. It’s not easy to escape from landslides,” Pinarayi Vijayan informed.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for rains for three districts in the next couple of days. They are Kannur, Kasaragod and Wayanad.
Vijayan also said the water level in the major dams was not a cause of worry as of now. The Idukki Dam, one of the biggest in the state, presently has only 36.61 per cent of its capacity, said Vijayan.
In the worst-hit Puthumala in Wayanad, which was struck by a massive landslide on August 8, eight people were still missing and search operations were on for them.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi arrived on a two-day visit to Kerala this afternoon and would visit his Lok Sabha constituency Wayanad, which is among the badly affected. Rahul is expected to visit relief camps at Kottakal in Nilambur, Mambad, Edavannappara and attend a review meeting at the Malappuram collectorate, Congress sources said. He will will visit Monday the affected areas in Wayanad, his Lok Sabha Constituency.
Flight operations from the international airport at Kochi resumed Sunday afternoon, two days after it was shut due to inundation of the runway area following heavy rains.
Various agencies, including the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, NDRF, police force, volunteers and fishermen are involved in the rescue operations at various places.
This is the second consecutive year that the floods and landslides have ravaged Kerala which is yet to recover from the devastating deluge that claimed over 400 lives last year and had rendered lakhs homeless.