Thiruvananthapuram: On Sunday rains continued to lash several parts of Kerala amid predictions of extremely heavy rainfall in six districts, raising concerns of aggravated flood situation in low-lying areas. The death toll in the recent landslide in Idukki district has risen to 43 with 17 more bodies being retrieved from the debris.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted extremely heavy rainfall in Alappuzha, Kannur, Kasaragod, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Wayanad districts.
Along with issuing a red alert, the IMD announced that these districts are likely to receive over 20 cm rainfall in the next 24 hours.
Almost all districts north of Alappuzha are likely to receive more than 20 cm rainfall.
However, there is likely to be reduction in rainfall from Tuesday.
Three days after the settlements of estate workers were swept away by devastating landslides at Pettimudi near Rajamala, various agencies engaged in the rescue operations on Sunday recovered 17 bodies.
According to officials, despite adverse weather conditions in Pettimudi, rescue operations by NDRF, police and fire department personnel continue to recover bodies of more people feared trapped in the landslide.
As many as 12 people were rescued and 43 bodies were found.
Meanwhile, incessant rains, landslides and opening of shutters of dams across rivers have led to increase in water levels in rivers and streams in central Kerala, thereby aggravating the flood situation.
Six shutters of Pamba dam in Pathanamthitta district were opened this afternoon after its water level rose to 983.45-meter mark, raising concerns about floods in Chengannur, Ranni and Kuttanad regions.
As per Pathanamthitta district officials, the shutters were opened to bring down the water level in the dam to 982 meters in nine hours.
There will be a 40 cm rise in water level in river Pamba, they added.
Anticipating breach of the river in areas downstream of Pathanamthitta, the district administration has sought the assistance of fishermen to carry out rescue operations.
Fishermen from Neendakara and Alappad in neighbouring Kollam district will reach vulnerable areas of Pathanamthitta, including Adoor and Thiruvalla with 15 boats.
Officials sad that last month, 30 fishermen arrived from Kollam with 10 boats deployed at Kozhencherry and Ranni.
As many as 100 families living in the vulnerable areas in Ranni have been moved to safety.
Normal life of people in low-lying areas of Kottayam and Alappuzha has been affected with flood waters entering their homes.
Low-lying areas in Kottayam and Alappuzha districts have been badly affected due to flooding.
Hundreds of families have been shifted to relief camps from low-lying areas, including Kumarakom and Kuttanad regions of Alappuzha and Kottayam districts.
Four cases of drowning have been reported from Alappuzha, Kannur, Kasargod and Kozhikode districts in the past 24 hours.
Considering the spread of COVID-19, the authorities have opened separate camps for different categories of flood victims.
In Ernakulam district alone, 1,203 people have been shifted to relief camps.
While 1,118 people have been lodged in general relief camps, 67 persons are lodged in senior-citizen camps.
District administration officials added that 18 persons are staying in the camps set for quarantined people.