The holy town of Pandalam known as the kingdom of Lord Ayyappa was entirely flooded on Thursday night and Friday morning, following rains and inflow of water from dams.
Several rescue boats have been pressed into service in the town, which is located close to Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta. According to sources, there was a paucity of rescue boats in the area with only few boats operating in the town. However, with a bund breaking and water levels rising fast in the town, boats and rescue officials were despatched on a priority basis.
A rescue official TNM spoke to said that only fishing boats could be largely used in the area, but rushing the boats there has become tough as some of the roads have been cut off.
Kerala has been reeling under the worst floods seen in the century. All 14 districts have been flooded and 13 are under red alert due to heavy rains. Around 35 dams have been opened to release water which is fast filling up the reservoirs. The water level in Idukki, the largest arch dam in Asia, is dangerously high at 2402 feet with just one feet left to reach full reservoir level at 2403.
Rescue and relief operations are ongoing with 40 more teams sent to flood hit areas of the state. Railway services to all districts have been temporarily suspended due to water logging and the Kochi airport is likely to remain closed till the 26th of the month.