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No respite yet for Kerala as Met office warns of more torrential rains

According to the weather office, since the beginning of June more than 321 centimetres (126 inches) of rain has fallen on the hilly central district of Idukki, which is now virtually cut off from the rest of the state.

india Updated: Aug 18, 2018 19:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala weather,Rains in Kerala,Kerala weather update
Volunteers and rescue personal evacuate local residents in a boat in a residential area at Aluva in Ernakulam district, Kerala, on August 17, 2018.(AFP)

The weather office has warned of more torrential rain and strong winds over the weekend in Kerala where more than 200 people have died in the past 10 days due to landslides and floods triggered by rains in the state’s worst crisis in a century.

The meteorological department has warned of heavy rains, according to a Twitter post by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday.

Widespread downpour is forecast until at least August 20 in the region, which has already witnessed 41 per cent more monsoon showers than normal this year, according to the India Meteorological Department. That compares with rain that has been 8 per cent below average for the country as a whole.

The state is “facing the worst floods in 100 years”, Vijayan said on Twitter.

According to the weather office, since the beginning of June more than 321 centimetres (126 inches) of rain has fallen on the hilly central district of Idukki, which is now virtually cut off from the rest of the state.

More than 30 military helicopters and 320 boats are attempting rescues across Kerala after some areas were engulfed by overflowing rivers, with residents seen swimming and wading through chest-high waters past partially submerged houses.

The gates of dozens of dams and reservoirs across the state have been opened as water levels reach danger levels, inundating many other villages.

At least 310,000 people have been displaced and are taking shelter in more than 2,000 relief camps.

North and central Kerala have been worst-hit by the floods with the international airport in the main city of Kochi shut until at least August 26.

First Published: Aug 18, 2018 10:23 IST