Kottayam/Kochi/Kozhikode: The Kerala government has issued a red alert for six districts, including Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad, Kannur, Kasaragod and Palakkad following heavy rain.
Heavy to very heavy rainfall was likely in the state till June 18. Monsoon continued to wreak havoc in Kerala on Thursday, claiming lives and triggering landslips, flash floods and damaging property.
The alert has been issued as there was a likelihood of floods and landslides in these areas. Kozhikode and Malappuram received unprecedented rainfall over the past two days. Trips to hilly regions in Kozhikode should be avoided from 7 pm to 7 am. Tourists and public have been asked to stay away from waterbodies. Vehicles should not be parked near streams or below tress.
Fishermen have been asked not to go out to the sea during the next 24 hours.
The relatively less dangerous orange alert has been issued for Idukki, Kottayam and Alappuzha.
3 children killed
Seven people, including three children, died and at least seven were reported missing after a landslide struck a remote village in Kozhikode district on Thursday.
One child, Dilna, was killed in landslide at Kattippara, near Thamarassery in Kozhikode. The nine-year-old was killed when flash flood triggered by the landslide destroyed her house. The body of Dilna's brother, 3-year-old Muhammed Shahabas, was also recovered from the landslide-hit area.
The body of their neighbour, five-year-old Jasim, was also recovered. At least five houses in the area have been completely destroyed, triggering apprehensions about the safety of its inhabitants.
The other deceased were Abdurahman, 60; his son Jaffar, 35; Hasan, 65; and Jannat, 17.
In Malappuram, the body of fisherman Hamsa, hailing from Tirur, was washed ashore on Chavakkad beach Thursday morning.
A person was killed in Thrissur after an uprooted tree fell over him.
Public asked to stay alert
Several houses were damaged as heavy rain triggered landslides in various parts of the state. The authorities have advised the public to be alert. Personnel of the National Disaster Management Authority have been called in.
The disaster management cell of Kozhikode and Wayanad districts also asked the quarries to stop functioning.
Traffic in the hilly regions were affected due to low visibility. Buses, including the KSRTC, have curtailed their services.
As the Thamarassery churam has been blocked in heavy rain and landslide, travelling to Wayanad has become difficult.
KSRTC buses have also stopped services. Only emergency service vehicles are travelling through the Kuttiyadi churam.
Tribal families living in Palakolly colony in Pulpally had earlier refused to shift to the makeshift rehabilitation camp, protesting the government's in failure in implementing the rehabilitation package. However, on Thursday, they agreed to relocate after getting sub-collector NSK Umesh's assurance. Nearly 25 tribal families are staying here.
Heavy rain and landslides were also reported from Malappuram, where the collector has asked schools to remain shut in Nilambur, Ernad and Kondotty.
Other districts, including Kottayam, Kannur and Alappuzha, were also hit in the incessant downpour.
An interstate road that connects Kannur with Karnataka was damaged at Makkoottam in Kannur in a landslip. The road is a key route for traders in Kannur, Thalassery and Iritty to connect with Bengaluru disrupting traffic.
A landslide has been reported at Brahmagiri and Ayyankunnu in Kannur also. The monsoon fury also devastated five houses.
Several roads have developed cracks and others washed away. More than 270 houses were partially damaged, while eight were completely damaged across Kerala, officials at the state control room for diaster management here said.
Holiday for schools
The district collectors of Kottayam, Alappuzha, Wayanad, and Kozhikode have declared a holiday on Thursday for schools. Relief camps are functioning in these schools.
All educational institutions, except professional colleges, and Anganwadis in Arpookkara, Aymanam, Manarcaud, Vijayapuram, Kumarakom and Thiruvarpu panchayats will remain closed on Thursday.
Holiday has also been declared for academic institutions, except professional colleges, in Kuttanad, Cherthala, Ambalappuzha, Karthikappally taluks in Alappuzha, an official statement said.
Though professional colleges too have been asked to remain shut in Kozhikode, Wayanad collector is yet to announce the same in his district. Examinations would be held unaffected, including the Plus Two SAY (Save a Year) and university examinations.
Entry to Gavi, a major tourist spot in Pathanamthitta, a southern district, has also been curtailed.
Relief camps were set up in Kannur, Kozhikode, Kottayam and Alappuzha districts. Widespread loss to farms has also been reported from these districts.
Control rooms have been started functioning at collectorate and taluk offices in the district.
Kozhikode collectorate: 0495 2371002, Thamarassery taluk: 0495 2223088, Kozhikode taluk: 0495 2372966, Koyilandy: 0496 2620235 and Vadakara: 0496 2522361