Kerala flood latest updates: Over 25 dead due to heavy rains; Idduki, Kottayam worst hit

By | Written by Joydeep Bose | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Oct 18, 2021 12:17 AM IST

Kerala rain: Rescue efforts are in full swing, with the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force, and the Indian Navy joining in with the local administration to assist the relief operations.

Rainfall in Kerala continued to disrupt normal life in the southern state on Sunday, with as many as 21 people losing their lives to rain-related incidents so far and dozens of others missing after flash floods and landslides in multiple regions. Officials said rescue efforts are in full swing, with the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force, and the Indian Navy joining in with the local administrations to assist them with the operations. The rainfall situation has also partially subsided in central Kerala but the threat of landslides and severe waterlogging across multiple districts still persists, according to officials.

Heavy rains in Kerala: NDRF personnel shifting some of the bodies recovered in the Kottayam district. (HT PHOTO)
Heavy rains in Kerala: NDRF personnel shifting some of the bodies recovered in the Kottayam district. (HT PHOTO)

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in a Facebook post from his official account, informed that hectic relief and rescue operations are currently on; he urged people to observe social distancing in relief camps. Meanwhile, Union home minister Amit Shah also assured all possible support for the people in need in Kerala, adding that the central government was keeping a close watch on the situation.

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Here are the highlights on Kerala rain:- 

  • At least 25 people have died due to rain-related incidents in Kerala, according to news agency AFP. Some 11 bodies have been found so far in Idukki district and another 14 in Kottayam district, officials told AFP, after the areas were hit by landslides and flash floods.
  • "Spoke to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the situation in the wake of heavy rains and landslides in Kerala. Authorities are working on the ground to assist the injured and affected. I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being," tweets Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “It is saddening that some people have lost their lives due to heavy rains and landslides in Kerala. Condolences to the bereaved families,” he added.
  • Death toll due to heavy rains and landslide in Kerala now stands at 21, including 13 in Kottayam and eight in Idukki, the state's Information and Public Relations Department informed.
  • Heavy rain has caused landslide, damage and destruction in Koottickal area of Kottayam district. Rescue operation is still underway, reported ANI. Meanwhile, heavy rains continue in parts of Kerala.
  • Three more bodies have been recovered from the site where a landslide occurred in Kokkayar, Idukki on Saturday, the Kerala Government was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
  • The Indian Air Force has inducted its medium-lift helicopters for flood relief efforts in the rain-hit districts of Kerala.
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that the intense spell of rainfall activity over Kerala and Mahe, South Interior Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal likely to reduce from today.
  • Rains subsided a bit in central Kerala. In the landslide-hit areas, where the personnel from the Indian Army have now begun relief operations, 17 people are still reported to be missing.
  • As many as 18 people have died in rain-related incidents in the southern state so far. The majority of the deaths were due to landslides, according to officials.
  • Union home minister Amit Shah tweeted, “We are continuously monitoring the situation in parts of Kerala in the wake of heavy rainfall and flooding. The central government will provide all possible support to help the people in need. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have already been sent to assist in the rescue operations. Praying for everyone's safety.”
  • Nine more bodies were recovered this morning from the disaster-affected areas. One of the deceased, whose body was recovered from Kokkayar, has been identified as Olikkal Shallot (29).
  • Sniffer dogs have been pressed into service. They were reported to have done a good job last year during the Idukki landslide crisis.
  • The maximum amount of damage due to rainfall in Kerala has been reported from the Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, and the Idukki districts. Peerumedu in Idukki received a record rainfall of 270mm.
  • The water level of the Muvattupuzha river in the Ernakulam district was reported to be rising above normal, according to the ANI news agency.
  • Authorities in Kerala have urged devotees of Lord Ayyappa to refrain from visiting the Sabarimala temple in the Pathanamthitta district on Sunday and Monday.
  • Kerala chief minister Vijayan said all government agencies have been directed to take necessary steps to rescue people from the affected regions and evacuate those living in areas prone to landslides and floods. The district collectors have also been asked to open relief camps to relocate the affected people. However, they have been told that the camps should function strictly adhering to Covid-19 protocol.
  • In many districts, dams are nearing their full capacity and small towns and villages in the hilly areas remain totally cut off. However, authorities have urged citizens not to panic, insisting that “everything is under control”.
  • The Indian Navy, which has joined the relief efforts along with other columns of the armed forces, has been dropping food packets to the stranded from choppers. Other Navy choppers with relief materials are already airborne from INS Garuda towards the rain-affected areas. Two Air Force choppers Mi-17 are on standby at the AF Station in Shangumugham.
  • The Indian Army is conducting rescue operations for missing persons in debris in Kavali and Kottayam. One column of Army personnel from DSC Centre, Kannur, with engineering and medical components arrived at Wayanad for rescue operations. The engineering task force from Bengaluru is also expected to arrive at Wayanad soon. A total o three columns have been deployed by the Indian Army so far.
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday projected “only light to moderate rainfall” over Kerala during the next 24 hours. “The low-pressure area over the southeast Arabian Sea and adjoining Kerala has become less marked. There is a possibility of light to moderate rainfall at many places with only isolated heavy rainfall over the state during the next 24 hours and further decrease thereafter,” news agency ANI reported, citing an IMD bulletin for the southern state. A yellow alert has also been issued for heavy rain in eleven districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, and Kozhikode.


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