Eleven dead, four missing in Kerala rains

By Indo-Asian News Service

Thiruvananthapuram: Heavy monsoon rains lashing Kerala since Monday have left eleven people dead while four are missing, state Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran told reporters here Tuesday.

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Rains have been particularly harsh in north Kerala, especially Kozhikode and Kannur and spread to almost all other districts of the state as the day progressed.

Four deaths each have occurred in Kozhikode and Malappuram, one each in Trissur, Idukki and Ernakulam.

Rajendran also announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 50,000 to next of kin of those killed and Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 for those injured in the floods.

“We have opened 133 relief camps where 8500 people have been accommodated. Some 29 houses were fully destroyed while 501 houses were partially damaged,” said Rajendran.

He added that the rains have also caused heavy loss to property and crops in the state. The downpour disrupted road traffic at several places in the state because of landslides and water logging in low-lying areas.

Fishermen have been warned not to venture out to sea because strong winds of speeds up to 55 kmph are expected to lash the coastal areas.

In Kottayam district, heavy rains triggered landslides near a railway track, hitting the engine of the Thiruvananthapuram-Chennai super fast train around 10 p.m. Monday.

“We have formed a mobile teams in all districts which include officials from the revenue, police and Coast Guard. A Central Rapid Action Force (RAF) has reached Kozhikode while a team of Navy personnel is busy with relief work in Wayanad,” said Rajendran.

Meanwhile, the sluice gates of a dozen small dams at various places in the state have been opened.

The local meteorological office has predicted that rains will continue for at least two more days. Malappuram recorded 27 cm of rain, the highest recorded Tuesday.