Kerala will ride out havoc: CM Pinarayi Vijayan
By Indian Express 11-Aug-2019
Pinarayi said steps have been taken to heli-drop food and packaged water to the nearly 200 households and officers marooned at Vaniyambalam in Malappuram. Swirling currents in the swollen Chaliyar are hampering rescue operations in the area. The government officers are extending their full cooperation, with a KSEB assistant engineer even meeting with a watery grave while on official duty.
Though the rain in Wayanad has weakened, it can pick up strength yet again and hence flood vigil should not be lowered, the Chief Minister said. A Red alert has been sounded in neighbouring areas of Banasura Sagar dam and people there evacuated to safer zones. Army, National Disaster Response Force(NDRF), Fire Force and police personnel are engaged in rescue operations, with Central forces out in full strength. However, poor visibility is preventing choppers from landing in the district’s affected areas.
Pathanamthitta, which was the worst-hit in the century’s worst deluge last year, is being lashed by heavy rain this year and 15 camps have been opened in Tiruvalla. The water level in the Pampa is rising. But the rain has weakened in Ernakulam, the Chief Minister said.
Despite the heavy output of rainwater, level in the Idukki dam as on Saturday is only 35% of its storage capacity, according to Pinarayi Vijayan. On the same day last year, the reservoir was 98.5% full. Kakki, Sholayar, and Idamalayar dams are only half-full. He, however, said Peringalkuthu, Kuttiadi and Banasura Sagar are filled to capacity.
Pinarayi said though people might be unwilling to shift to relief camps, they should not ignore warnings since personal safety is paramount. The power outage plaguing northern Kerala is chiefly due to the KSEB switching off the high-tension line to prevent electrocution after it touched the Chaliyar. He said nine KSEB sub-stations are now closed along with four small power stations. PWD Roads have been destroyed in several places, with six of them shut to traffic.
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