Kerala rain: 24 dead, yellow alert in 11 districts
New Delhi, Oct 18: The death toll in incidents related to heavy rains, including landslides and flash floods in Kerala rose to 24 on Monday. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted that the state is likely to receive rainfall in the next 3-4 days although rain subsided by Sunday afternoon.
The IMD has issued a yellow alert in 11 districts - Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, and Kozhikode - on Monday.
Meanwhile, all the exams scheduled to be held on Monday have been postponed while the classes that were scheduled to begin from October 18 have been postponed to October 20, the higher education department in the state said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered assistance to the southern state to tackle the situation. 22 bodies, 13 from Kottayam district and 9 from Idukki were recovered from various rain-hit areas while NDRF teams continued their rescue operations.
The casualties occurred on Saturday due to landslides and flash floods in the hilly areas of Kottayam and Idukki districts following heavy rains, officials said.
PM Modi called Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the situation arising out of the rains. "Spoke to Kerala CM Shri @vijayanpinarayi 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,"
Modi tweeted. "I pray for everyone's safety and well-being," he said. Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the Centre will provide all possible assistance to the people of Kerala, who have been affected by heavy rains and resulting floods. He tweeted that the government was "continuously monitoring the situation in parts of Kerala in the wake of heavy rainfall and flooding."
The state government has already announced an assistance of Rs 4 lakh to the relatives of those who have lost their lives. Officials said the bodies of three children buried under the slush were recovered in Idukki's Kokkayar after intense rescue efforts. Children, aged eight, seven and four, were found holding each other.
Kerala Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan, who visited Kokkayar and Koottickal alleged that the state government failed to launch rescue operations in time in the affected areas. At Koottickal in Kottayam district, a family of six including three girl children aged 14, 12 and 10 were killed as their house was swept away in the landslide. PTI