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Kerala Rains: Death toll rises to 79 as heavy rains continue to batter Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram: With rains still pouring down heavily leading to flooding of dams and rivers across Kerala, 12 fresh deaths were reported on Thursday, taking the toll to 79, since August 8. Entire Kerala has been on a red alert since Wednesday evening. A total of 28 deaths were reported on the day.

The deaths on Thursday were reported from Malappuram, Kozhikode, Palakkad and Thrissur. Pathanamthitta district in central Kerala has been the worst affected in the last 24 hours as thousands of people — students among others were trapped in their homes in Ranni, Aranmula and Kozhencherry. Fishing boats from Kollam reached the flooded areas as the rescue operation with the aid of defence personnel continued. Various media Whats App groups, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s have been flooded with SOS messages from Pathanamthitta crying for help.

Parts of Ernakulam and Thrissur have been facing tough times with the dam waters from Idukki districts reaching Periyar, and its tributaries late on Wednesday. Traffic on the national highway between Ernakulam and Thrissur has been regulated since. Train operations between Ernakulam and Angamaly have also been stopped and at Thiruvananthapuram railway station tickets are not being issued. All educational institutions were closed on Thursday.