Kochi: The Kerala government has sought the assistance of the Indian Air Force for rescue operations in the state, where landslides have occurred following heavy rains.
The Chief Minister’s Office has informed that help from the Air Force has been sought for rescue in Koottikal at Kottayam district where landslides have been reported isolating a few families.
Minister for Cooperation and Registration V N Vasavan told PTI that at least three houses have been washed away in Kottayam district and 10 people are feared missing.
“At least four landslides have been reported from various parts of Kottayam district. We have sought the assistance of the Airforce to rescue people who are stranded in the Koottikal area. We have received information about some people missing and over 60 waiting to be rescued as water entered their homes,” the Minister said.
Kottayam and Pathanamthitta are the most affected districts in the state as of now due to heavy rains since Friday night.
Visuals have emerged on social media from various parts of Kottayam district, including a KSRTC bus stuck in flood water and locals rescuing passengers from it.
A CMO release said, “six teams of NDRF have been deployed in six districts–Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Idukki. Two teams of Army have been directed to be deployed in Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam districts. Air Force has been requested to be on standby in case of any emergencies.”
The CM also said a Red alert has been sounded for the dams under KSEB, including Kakki dam in Pathanamthitta, Sholayar in Thrissur, Kundala and Kallarkutti in Idukki.
A red alert has also been issued for Chulliyar dam in Palakkad and Peechi dam in Thrissur, which are under the irrigation department.
Revenue Minister K Rajan said a meeting will be chaired by the Chief Minister this evening in which all district collectors and other concerned officials will take part.
“All necessary precautions have been taken. We have asked the district collectors to issue warnings to people residing along the river banks,” Rajan told PTI.
The Indian Meteorological Department has warned of widespread heavy rains in the state due to the Low Pressure area formed over the Arabian Sea and issued a Red Alert for five districts in the state.
Destruction of roads was reported in many places including in Kollam and Kottayam districts while severe waterlogging made life miserable in Kuttanad region, popularly known as the ‘rice bowl’ of the state spread in Alappuzha and Kottayam districts.
The water level is rising steadily in many rivers including Meenachal and Manimala in the district.