Published: Thu, August 16, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Monsoon rains kill 67 in southern India

Monsoon rains kill 67 in southern India

Train services have been disrupted and road transport services are in disarray with stretches of roads coming under water.

Following flooding in and around the Cochin International Airport, all flights were cancelled till August 18. "The situation is bad in many parts of the state and the number [of deaths] will likely increase", said a senior official from the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority.

He also spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami urging him to ensure that more water is drawn from the Mullaiperiyar reservoir so that the water level in the dam can be kept at 139 ft.

The prime minister has assured all help, it said.

The five latest fatalities from the rain that began a week ago came when authorities in the southern state were forced to release water from 35 dangerously full dams, sending a surge into its main river.

Many parts of Thiruvananthapuram are also receiving heavy rains since early this morning.

"Due to heavy flooding at Cochin Airport, all flights to and from the airport have been suspended by the airport authority". We are working hard to drain out the storm water.

Due to the heavy rains in the northern hilly districts, several landslides and floods have been reported from districts like Wayanad, forcing thousands of people to move to relief camps.

The chief minister asked officials to make necessary arrangements to take passengers, who may be landing in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, to their respective places by state-run buses.

The tourist town of Munnar is virtually inundated after shutters of the Idukki, Mullaperiyar and Mattuppetty dams were opened.

An official statement said the state government would soon approach the civil aviation ministry to allow small flights to Kochi to land at the naval airport. "We're keeping all this in mind but our priority is to get drinking water to the people". With nearly all rivers in spate, reports of landslides have come in from Malappuram and Munnar in Idukki this morning. Flights are being diverted to other airports.

More than 50,000 have sought shelter in relief camps.

According to weathermen, heavy rainfall accompanied by gusty winds with speed reaching 60 kmph, is expected in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kozhikode districts.

Governor P Sathasivam also chose to cancel the reception to be hosted by him today as part of Independence Day celebrations due to the floods in the state. "My thoughts are with families of those who lost their lives in floods".

"Our state is in the midst of an unprecedented flood havoc", Vijayan said earlier this week. The government also made a decision to do away with annual "Onam" celebrations being organised by the state and to utilise the amount for relief measures, he said.

Like this: