Kerala Floods: 3000 Trapped as Mountain Road Collapses

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Kerala Floods: 3000 Trapped as Mountain Road Collapses

Many are trapped in the Nelliyampathy hills in Palakkad district.

Kochi: Over 3000 people atop the Nelliyampathy Hills are still trapped as the only mountain road collapsed due to massive landslides yesterday.

The people there are running short of food and medicines even as efforts are being made to airdrop food packets.

Meanwhile, at least 22,000 people were rescued by state rescuers and fishermen Sunday, the fifth day after the disaster floods hit the state.

Thirteen new deaths were reported Sunday, taking the official toll in the rain, floods and landslides since August 8 to 207. Thirty-nine people are reported missing.

Kerala Floods: Time to Call in Army For RescueOne big relief was that the kept away from most parts of the state. The discharge from the Idukki, Idamalayar, Peringalkuthu and Sabarigir dams have been reduced even as the state government  withdrew the red alert for the districts of Ernakulam and Idukki.

Nearly 9 lakh people are now lodged in camps, and as the rescue mission wound down to its final stages, the government began to shift focus to ensuring relief to affected persons, and to the rebuilding of civic infrastructure damaged by the floods.

A close vigil is being kept on possible outbreak of diseases due to contaminated waters. Sanitation works are being intensified and chlorination of drinking water sources is underway under the supervision of health inspectors.

On Sunday, rescue operations were focussed on the badly battered regions of Chengannur and Kuttanad regions of Alappuzha and Paravur region of Ernakulam.

After a review meeting, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said rescue efforts have entered the final stage. “The focus of the state government will be to bring life back to normalcy even as rescuing the people stranded in remote areas continues. Rehabilitation of the affected will be taken up with the cooperation of the local people. Apart from ensuring facilities at relief camps, those who are still staying in their homes, will be given provisions,” he said.

Road services have been restored almost in all places though the movement of traffic is slow due to roads that were left non-motorable in many places.

Aluva in Ernakulam district and Chalakkudy in Thrissur district that went almost entirely under flood waters are now limping back to restore badly damaged infrastructure.

Down south, water levels in Chengannur, Rani and Pathanamthitta are yet to recede in many places.