Kerala returns to normalcy as rains subside, no red alert on Friday

Flood-affected Kerala returns to normalcy as rain subsides
A relief camp from Kozhikode district.
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Thiruvananthapuram: The torrential downpour and subsequent floods which wreaked havoc across the coast of Kerala in the past one week has finally subsided.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that Kerala is unlikely to experience heavy rainfall in the next seven to ten days. No red, orange or yellow alerts have been declared in the state today.

Some isolated areas may experience heavy rainfall. Strong winds from southwesterly direction speed reaching 45-55 kmph likely to prevail over Southwest and Central Arabian Sea.

The warning issued to fishermen has been withdrawn.

Flood-affected Kerala returns to normalcy as rain subsides
A family cleans household items after the flood water receded.

The rains which began on August 7 led to the flood situation in northern and middle Kerala.

With abatement of rains, sun brought some respite to flood-hit state on Friday as water receded in many low-lying areas and the state began to return to normalcy, even as toll in the second spell of the south-west monsoon rose to 105 with 29 missing.

The IMD has predicted that after Friday the rainfall would weaken. The depression that was formed in the Bay of Bengal is moving in the north western direction via Chhattisgarh, reducing the likelihood of rain in Kerala.

Search operations continue at Kavalappara in Malappuram and Puthumala in Wayanad, where a series of landslides wiped out two villages last week, to trace those who were feared to have been buried alive.

Holiday for some institutions

Some educational institutions in six districts will continue to remain shut on Friday owing to relief and rehabilitation work.

Flood-affected Kerala returns to normalcy as rain subsides
People moving a country boat which used for relief and rescue operations in flood affected areas. Photo: Jins Michael

In Pathanamthitta's Thiruvalla taluk, all educational institutions including professional colleges will have a holiday on Friday. In other taluks of the district only institutions that are functioning as relief camps will remain shut.

In Kottayam district, all educational institutions in Changanassery, Vaikom and Kottayam taluks will remain shut. However, those institutions running as relief camps in Meenachil and Kanjirappaly taluks will also get a holiday.

In Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kozhikode districts only institutions which are functioning as relief camps will be shut. In Alappuzha's Kuttanad taluk all educational institutions are to remain shut for Friday.

Rehabilitation

The district administration would begin the process to rehabilitate those staying at relief camps in two weeks time. Revenue authorities and people's representatives would lead the process. However, it would be a challenge to find habitable land that does not face any threat of disasters.

Though people have started shifting to their homes in many places, there are 1,75,373 still sheltered in 1,057 relief camps across the state.

According to the government update, a total of 11,901 houses have been partially damaged and 1,115 fully damaged.

The state government had on Wednesday announced a package of flood compensation with an immediate financial aid of up to Rs 10,000 each to all calamity-hit families.

Mapping and drones

It was comparatively a sunny day at Puthumala on Thursday, where earth-movers and sniffer dogs were engaged in tracing the missing people.

Authorities have also taken the help of a mapping expert to find the seven people who went missing after a landslide struck Puthumala in Wayanad district.

Rather than randomly searching for missing people, officials are finding out the location of each person when the landslide struck and assessing to where would they have been swept away. Haritha Kerala Mission Kozhikode, Wayanad coordinator P Prakash led the mapping process.

The mapping process done by Prakash to recover the bodies of those who were killed in the landslide at Karinjola Mala in Kozhikode last year had been fruitful.

Drones were engaged in search operations at Kavalappara, where three more bodies were found on Thursday taking the death toll to 33. Twenty six people are still missing.

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