According to the rainfall statement released by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Thiruvananthapuram, Wayanad district received the highest rainfall in Kerala on Thursday. While the Mananthavady taluk received 259 mm rainfall, Vythiri taluk received 244 mm rainfall - both in Wayanad and the highest among other districts as of August 8.
As a result, the district is facing massive flooding and landslides, forcing families to evacuate their houses. According to the Wayanad Disaster Management Authority and Control Room, 97 relief camps are currently functional in the district.
“Currently, 2,558 families have been sheltered across the relief camps, this includes 8,860 people. Three taluks of Wayanad - Mananthavady, Sultan Bathery and Vythiri - have been badly affected,” an official at the District Emergency Operating (DEO) Centre told TNM.
According to IMD, Wayanad is set to receive extremely heavy rainfall on Friday. In view of this, District Collector AR Ajayakumar said that more water will be released from the Karapuzha Dam from 8 am on Friday. “People residing along the path of the gushing water should remain cautious. The water level of rivers and streams are likely to increase by 1.5 metres. There is no need to panic,” the Collector wrote on Facebook. All educational institutions will remain shut on Friday.
In 2018, Wayanad witnessed massive landslides due to heavy rainfall. This year, too, the district is facing a similar situation.
The Kuttiady route to Kozhikode was blocked since Wednesday due to landslides, affecting the road services. Roads in Ponkuzhi (in Sultan Bathery) have been affected. However, the officials concerned are working towards removing the blocks.
Wayanad has numerous indigenous tribes residing in the district. Among them, the residents of Nettara tribal colony of Thirunelly village are stranded as the makeshift bridge to access the mainland has been washed away. Since 2006, the residents have been making this temporary bridge on their own, using bamboo and wooden planks, as it gets washed every year in the heavy rain.
With almost chest-deep water, several houses have been flooded. An NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) battalion has reached Wayanad. Village officers are assisting in evacuating the residents.
Meanwhile, the Wayanad Member of Parliament (MP), Rahul Gandhi, said since he cannot travel to Wayanad, he has asked various stakeholders to help in the relief work.
“The people of Wayanad, my Lok Sabha constituency, are in my thoughts & prayers as they battle raging floodwaters. I was to travel to Wayanad, but I have now been advised by officials that my presence will disrupt relief operations. I’m awaiting their OK to travel. I request Congress workers and leaders, citizens and NGOs working in Kerala to help with relief operations in flood-hit areas of Wayanad. I hope the State Govt will release a generous financial rehabilitation package to help those who’ve been impacted by the floods,” he tweeted.
The people of Wayanad, my Lok Sabha constituency, are in my thoughts & prayers as they battle raging flood waters.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 8, 2019
I was to travel to Wayanad, but I’ve now been advised by officials that my presence will disrupt relief operations. I’m awaiting their OK to travel.
Toll-free number: 04936 1077
District Emergency Operating Centre: 04936 204151