Rain fury in many States

Rain fury in many States

South India battered, Kerala worst hit with 28 dead

Kochi/Bengaluru/Mumbai: Rains continued to batter South India , with landslips and floods throwing life out of gear in Kerala leaving 28 people dead over the past three days and authorities scrambling to evacuate people from low-lying areas.

Over 80,000 flood-affected people were evacuated in Karnataka, as Tamil Nadu asked the IAF to be on stand by to be deployed for rescue activities in rain-ravaged Nilgiris district where five people lost their lives in various rain-related incidents.

In New Delhi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who represents the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat from Kerala, spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the floods and sought aid.

A year after Kerala was devastated by the deadliest monsoon that led to the worst deluge in the state's history in a century, it was again at the receiving end of nature's fury, prompting government to seek the help of Army and Air Force.

Rail and air services were disrupted with Railways cancelling severak services while flight operations at the Kochi airport were suspended till Sunday due to inundation.

The Cochin International Airport (CIAL), where flight operations were initially suspended till midnight Friday after floodwaters inundated the apron area (parking), will now remain closed till 3 PM on Sunday.

A red alert for rainfall has been issued in nine of the 14 districts in the state and all educational institutions will remain closed.

In Kochi, the Southern Naval Command said it was ready to open its airport for operation of small commercial flights if CIAL airport remained shut for a longer period.

The government has suspended the iconic Snake Boat Race which was scheduled to be held in Alappuzha on Friday in the wake of heavy rains.

Last year also, the race was suspended due to floods then, that claimed over 400 lives and caused extensive damage.

In neighbouring Karnataka, four members of a family were killed in a landslip in Kodagu district on Friday following incessant rains.

"Four bodies -- three men and one women -- have been recovered from the spot, while efforts are on to trace a fifth member of the family," a police official said.

At least 30 people have been killed in various flood-related incidents in Maharashtra in the past one week even as more than 2.03 lakh people were evacuated to safer locations, officials said here on Friday.

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