- Visuals from Kottayam showed locals pushing a car in knee-deep water
- Another clip showed passengers trying to come out of a submerged bus
- CMO has urged people to avoid venturing out in mountains and near rivers
At least five people were killed as heavy rain slammed several parts of Kerala on Saturday. Landslides have been reported in Kottayam and Idukki districts. six districts have been put on red alert and six districts on orange alert.
A footage showing a bus stuck in a waterlogged street - with passengers struggling to come out - turned out to be one of the most defining videos of the rain horror in the southern state.
On the state government's request, the Army and Air Force have stepped in. Helicopters are on standby and all bases under Southern Air Command are on high alert. The Army has deployed its personnel in the flood-affected areas. An Army column comprising about 30 personnel has moved to Kanjirappalliin Kottayam district from Pangode military station.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has decided to deploy 11 teams in Kerala for rescue work.
In view of red alert for rainfall & possible flooding/water logging in several districts of Kerala a total of 11 teams of @NDRFHQ (from @04NDRF ) deployed/being deployed in coord with @KeralaSDMA@HMOIndia@BhallaAjay26@PIBHomeAffairs@PIBTvpm@ANI@PTI_News@ndmaindiapic.twitter.com/VUFmzkHrKV— ѕαtчα prαdhαnसत्य नारायण प्रधान ସତ୍ୟ ପ୍ରଧାନ (@satyaprad1) October 16, 2021
Visuals from rural Kottayam, one of the five districts where "heavy to extremely heavy" rain alert was issued, show locals pushing a car while they could barely move in knee-deep water. 12 people are missing in this area.
Another clip shows some men standing in a row, trying to apparently pull out a vehicle with a rope amid heavy downpour.
Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur and Palakkad are the districts that have been put on red alert. In six districts of the state - Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad - the weather office has sounded an "orange alert", which signifies "heavy to very heavy rain". Two districts have been put on yellow alert.
Heavy rainfall alert in #Kerala. IMD issues red alert in 5 districts - Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki and Thrissur. Orange alert in 7 districts - Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad.— NDTV (@ndtv) October 16, 2021
Shots of flooding in Rural Kottayam. pic.twitter.com/1b04Tkec2a
Dramatic visuals of people being evacuated from a KSRTC bus in Poonjar, rural #Kottayam. No loss of life reported, confirm officials. IMD issues red alert for the district. pic.twitter.com/YtOMKHWIc5— NDTV (@ndtv) October 16, 2021
The Chief Minister's office has sent out a cautionary note, urging people to be extremely careful and avoid venturing out for travels into the mountains or near rivers.
#WATCH Waterlogged street in Kanjirappally, Kottayam district as the area continues to receive heavy rainfall— ANI (@ANI) October 16, 2021
IMD has issued a Red alert in Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki and Thrissur districts of Kerala pic.twitter.com/LocqwW3CfL
"Under the influence of the low pressure area over Southeast Arabian Sea off Kerala coast, the state is expected to receive isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy falls till the morning of October 17 (Sunday). Isolated heavy rainfall is expected on 18th (Monday) and further reduction in rainfall from 19th morning (Tuesday)," the weather office said in a statement.
Warning the fishermen, it further said: "Squally weather with wind speed reaching 40-50 Kmph gusting 60 Kmph is likely to prevail over Kerala coast. Fishermen are advised not to venture into these sea areas."
My thoughts are with the people of Kerala. Please stay safe and follow all safety precautions. #KeralaRains— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 16, 2021
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who represents Kerala's Wayanad constituency in Lok Sabha, asked people to follow all safety precautions. "My thoughts are with the people of Kerala. Please stay safe and follow all safety precautions," he tweeted.