India – Torrential Rains Trigger Deadly Landslide in Kerala

Torrential monsoon rainfall has triggered deadly flooding and landslides in the southern state of Kerala, India.

NDRF and other rescue teams work on the site at Rajamala in Idukki District in Kerala, India, after rain triggered a landslide burying houses. Photo: NDRF

At least 26 people died after heavy rain triggered a landslide buried houses in Rajamala in Idukki district late on 07 August. Teams of rescuers are working in the area, with over 40 people thought to be missing.

According to IMD figures, nearby Munnar recorded 229mm of rain in 24 hours to 06 August. Other areas of the state have also seen heavy rainfall over the last few days. Peermade recorded 297 mm on 06 August and Padinjarathara 276 mm. On 07 August Kakkayam saw 261mm of rain and the following day Vadakara recorded 327 mm.

The intense rainfall has increased river levels in the state. According to India’s Central Water Commission (CWC), flooding was affecting the districts of Wayanad, Idukki, Pathanamthitta, Palakkad and Kozhikode.

As of 09 August, rivers were at “Severe Flood Stage” in 3 locations: the Manimala and Achankovil rivers in Pathanamthitta District and the Meenachil in Kottayam.

The government of Kerala reported that over 11,000 people have evacuated their homes and moved to relief camps in response to the heavy rainfall. As of 08 August there were 342 camps opened, housing 11,446 people from 3,530 families. Wayanad district has the highest number of camps (69), housing 3,795 people.

Forecasters predict further heavy rains across the state and red alerts have been issued for the 7 districts of Alappuzha, Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod. Orange alerts are in place for the 6 districts of Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Palakkad.

Kerala saw devastating floods and landslides during the monsoon seasons of 2018 and 2019.

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