Central Kerala badly affected by rains

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Thiruvananthapuram, July 18 (IANS) Unabated rains over the past few days have badly affected normal life in Kottayam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Idukki districts in Kerala. At least 14 people have died in the past 10 days.

With the Met predicting more rains in the next four-five days that may advance towards the northern part of the state, the authorities are carrying out relief on an aggressive footing.

Around 10,000 people have been put up in relief camps.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan ordered district authorities on Wednesday to immediately release an amount of Rs 1,000 each to all those who are in these camps on or before July 17 even if they have gone home.

The state cabinet also directed Chief Secretary Tom Jose to see that an immediate assessment was made of the damages caused by the heavy monsoon.

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On account of overflowing Meenachil river in Kottayam, the Southern Railway decided to cancel 10 trains on Wednesday. Most of these were short distance trains between Ernakulam to Kollam.

There were less rains on Tuesday and Wednesday with Thiruvananthapuram district witnessing a bright sunny day. Kollam reported less rains.

At Kottayam, the worst affected were the low-lying areas. Residents and rescue teams transported more than 50 people to relief camps on boats from these areas.

“A funeral was conducted with great difficulty as there was no place in the house to place the body,” a villager in Kottayam told the media.

A busy entrance exam coaching centre in Pala near Kottayam was flooded and closed for a week.

Compared to the past five years, Kerala has received 18 per cent more rains in 2018 and has now recorded the highest in the five year period, the Met figures showed.

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Leader of Opposition R. Chennithala, who is part of an all-party delegation led by Vijayan that will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, said the state government must ensure to ask for an urgent release of funds to mitigate the loss suffered due to the heavy rains.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday assured in the Lok Sabha that the Centre will take a favourable approach to the calamity.

–IANS

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