Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday night held an meeting with government and State Disaster Management Authority officials, and said a serious situation prevails in parts of the state, especially in Wayanad.
The evaluation meeting was held after a major landslide hit the Meppadi area of Wayanad, the constituency of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. A temple, a church, a few houses and some vehicles have been buried under the mud and several people are feared missing.
"A part of the hill was gone in the landslide. We are unable to assess the gravity of the destruction. We have requested the Army for a chopper that can fly in the night for rescue operation. But incessant rains are causing hindrance," Vijayan told media after the meeting.
Kalpeta MLA C K Saseendran said the landslide site is inaccessible due to cave-ins along the road. He said he has requested Vijayan to seek the Army's assistance for rescue operations.
The chief minister said the various areas in Malappuram has been flooded and cut-off. He urged those residing in flood-prone areas to follow government instructions and move to relief camps.
"13,000 people are in camps across the state. Some people were reluctant to move out of their house. I would like to request them to not hesitate and shift to relief camps," Vijayan said.
During the devastating floods in the state last year, reports had said many in central Kerala were unwilling to move to safer places and were trapped there for days.
On Thursday, the Cochin International Airport has suspended all operations due to heavy rainfall. The opposition Congress has pledged full support to the government in rescue efforts.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala demanded supply of free ration to those who have lost their jobs and livelihood in the rains and the same was accepted by the government.
He also urged government to take steps to save residents in Kuttanadu, known as the rice bowl of Kerala. As per the IMD reports, Mananthavady in Wayanad District received over 250mm rainfall on Thursday.
Munnar, a tourist destination in Idukki district, has been receiving heavy rains with the IMD recording 19.4 cm rainfall as per the latest report.
A year after the devastating deluge, Kerala is once again being battered by heavy rains with landslips and floods wreaking havoc claiming eight lives Thursday.