The Army and a team of NDRF have been trying to airlift the families who have been stranded at their homes.

Thousands of people stranded in upper floors of buildings in Pathanamthitta
news Kerala Floods Thursday, August 16, 2018 - 09:01

Wednesday saw the rain havoc in Kerala get worse. 25 more deaths got reported, taking the total toll to 67. Red alert earlier issued in 12 districts got extended to all 14 by evening. But the situation appeared to be the worst in some areas in Pathanamthitta like Ranni and Maramon.

Flood waters entered houses and buildings, with the sudden rise of water level in river Pampa, leaving people stranded at many places.  

There came videos of people crying for help – people stuck in the upper floors or terraces of buildings, because the lower floors were flooded and they had to run up. They could not get out, and neither could help reach them. There were aged people and little kids among them, stuck without food or electricity.  

Calls of distress came from areas like Ranni, Aranmula, Maramon, Edapavoor and Kozhanchery.  

Talking to TNM, Ranni Circle Inspector said that the water levels in many areas have reduced on Thursday and that a coast guard team from Kochi and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are carrying out rescue operations in Ranni as well as the other areas in the Pathanamthitta district 

“Even though the water levels have reduced a little in Ranni, the condition is still bad, not just in Ranni but in other areas like Kozhencherry, Aranmula and all as hundreds are still stranded in their houses,” a source from Pathanamthitta told TNM.  

“To add onto this, mobile network in many areas are not working,” the source added. 

Talking about the rescue operations, he said that the Army has been trying to airlift the families who have been stranded at their homes. “Along with that, a team of NDRF officials have arrived at Pathanamthitta with over 30 boats to rescue people.” 

The source added that there is a shortage of water supply and food as the kitchens of most houses have been flooded. 

“One of the reasons for the flooding is the opening up of the 2 dams - Anathode dam and Kochupamba out of the 8 in Pathanamthitta”, he said. 

The water level in Pampa increased with the heavy rainfall that’s been lashing the state and the release of water from these two dams. 

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday night said, "An army contingent has landed at Thiruvananthapuram airport to do rescue operations in Ranni, Kozhencherry and Aranmula. They will be rushing to these places soon. Their main task is to rescue people stranded in these areas." 

Hundreds of relatives outside Kerala have been trying to reach their families and friends in Kerala. But some could not be reached. "I have tried calling the emergency numbers and control room numbers which were shared on Wednesday but I was not able to get through to them," said a resident of Mumbai whose grandparents are stranded in Pathanamthittta.