Kerala asks Centre to rush more army, NDRF personnel as rain havoc continues

Kerala asks Centre to rush more army, NDRF personnel as rain havoc continues

The Kerala government on Wednesday appealed to the Centre to rush more army and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel for relief and rescue operations as rain fury continued unabated in the flooded state forcing the shutdown of the Cochin airport and suspending rail services in many places.

“We have sought the Centre’s help for more people. We are in touch with the Union home ministry,” chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said after an emergency meeting in Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala’s flood misery has been compounded after Tamil Nadu refused to take more water from the Mullaperiyar dam where the water had touched the maximum level of 142 feet. Kerala which had fought a long battle with Tamil Nadu in the Supreme Court over water sharing from the dam, had requested the neighbouring state to take maximum water tide over crisis.

An official said chief minister Vijayan would speak to his Tamil Nadu counterpart E Palaniswami again.

According to official reports, 42 people have died in the state so far in rain, landslides and flood. A red alert has been sounded in 12 of the 14 districts.

Railways have suspended train service on the Kollam-Chengotta section for two days.

A landslide between Kuzhithurai and Eraniel stations has delayed four trains – Guruvayur-Chennai Egmore express, Kanyakumari-Mumbai CSMT express, Dibugarh-Kanyakumari Vivek Express and Gandhidham-Tirunelveli Humsafar Express, railway sources said.

On Thiruvananhtapuram-Thrissur section, trains will be delayed due to speed restrictions.

All rivers from Kasaragod in the north to Thiruvananthapuram in the south are in spate while sluice gates of several dams, including Mullaperiyar, have been opened.

Authorities have put restrictions in place for tourists in hill stations including Athirappally, Ponmudi and Munnar closed. In Alapuzha and Kottayam authorities have asked resorts and houseboats to evacuate tourists immediately

The low-lying areas of the capital city including Gowreesapattom and Kannanmoola are under water, hitting hard normal life.

The Met department has warned of heavy rains accompanied with gusty winds with speed reaching 60 kmph in all the 14 districts.

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