The India Meteorological Department issued a red alert for Wayanad and Idukki, warning of very heavy rainfall in the coming three days.
At least four persons are feared killed in a landslide at Rajamalai in Idukki district due to heavy rain for the past four days, an official said on Friday.
The Kerala official said that details of the incident are awaited, with initial reports indicating four casualties.
“The initial reports indicate that four persons are reported dead. We are on our way to the spot,” said Munnar revenue official Madhu.
State Power Minister M.M. Mani, who hails from the district, said the landslide had occurred at a place where tea estate workers were staying. He said the details are awaited as the terrain is very tough at the spot.
“The place is at the top of a hill. We are awaiting a response; the local legislator is also going to the spot. All emergency services have been pressed into service,” Mani said.
Meanwhile, area resident Parthasarathy told the media that he was aware of three rows of houses inhabited by around 80 tea estate workers and their families.
“But we do not know how many were there when the landslide occurred. I feel that many of the workers were at their homes due to heavy rain in the past few days. Moreover, communication with the area too has snapped, including electricity supply,” said Parthasarathy.
Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekheran said that he is in touch with the Idukki revenue officials and that all emergency rescue teams are on their way to the spot.
– Vaisakh Aryan (@aryan_vaisakh) August 7, 2020
Water panel rules out 2018, 2019 repeat
Even as heavy rains hit north Kerala districts like Wayanad, Malappuram and Kozhikode, besides Idukki, and rivers overflow, the Central Water Commission (CWC) has ruled out a repeat of the devastating floods seen in the last two years.
On Thursday, the India Meteorological Department issued a red alert for Wayanad and Idukki, warning of very heavy rainfall in the coming three days in these districts.
With the heavy rains these districts received in the past two days, the authorities have been on a high alert and have taken the precaution of moving people who live in areas where landslides and landslips are expected and those living on river banks have also been moved to safer places.
But with Covid on the spread at a few places, authorities have requested people to seek refuge in their homes of relatives and friends and where it was not possible, relief camps have been opened with Covid protocols in place.
However, the CWC’s statement ruling out a reprise of the worst floods of the century in 2018, and a near repeat in 2019, that cumulatively killed over 900 people and saw around 1.7 million in relief camps, has come as a relief.
CWC official B. Uma said that things are under control and nothing of what happened in 2018 or 19 is predicted this time.
The CWC is doing its routine monitoring of rainfall every nine hours and is also keeping a watch on the water levels in various dams, as well as rivers and lakes.
According to their figures, the water level in the major dams of the state, at present, is just around 30 to 60 per cent, while at the same time in 2018, it stood at a dangerous level of 70 to 90 per cent capacity and hence there is no need to worry.
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