Heavy rainfall lashes Kerala again, death toll in rain-battered Uttrakhand rises to 65text_fields
New Delhi: After a brief lull, heavy rainfall, accompanied by thunderstorms and lightning, lashed several parts of Kerala on Thursday as the weathermen issued an Orange Alert for eight districts of the state indicating very heavy showers.
The weather office has sounded an Orange alert for Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur.
A ''Yellow alert'', predicting isolated heavy rainfall, was issued for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kasaragod districts for the day, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Fishermen were advised not to venture into the sea in the state as squally weather with wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph is likely to prevail over the Kerala coast.
More than 40 people have been killed in Kerala.
The southern state was ravaged by heavy downpours and subsequent landslides in the south-central districts on October 15 and 16 which resulted in the loss of 42 lives and six people going missing.
Meanwhile, five tourists have died in Kapkot in Uttarakhand's Kumaon, officials said Thursday as the deaths in the northern state battered by the recent rains rose to 65.
Earlier, the official count of the dead was 60.
Apart from the five dead, one tourist was missing, officials said. Four were rescued.
About 65 tourists had been trapped on the higher reaches of Bageshwar and rescue teams were at work to bring those still remaining there to safety, officials said.
Relief and rescue operations continued in the worst-hit Kumaon region amid efforts to restore connectivity and evacuate people from vulnerable areas.
As per a PTI report, Uttarakhand recorded 192.6 mm rainfall against the usual 35.3 mm from October 1-20, while Kerala received 445.1 mm of rainfall during the period as against the usual 303.4 mm.
India received 41 per cent more rainfall than normal from October 1-21 with Uttarakhand alone recording more than five times its normal precipitation, IMD data showed.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah conducted an aerial survey of Uttarakhand's rain-ravaged areas to assess the damage that the state government has pegged at ₹ 7,000 crores.
"The damage could have been more if this was not done. Timely mobilisation of search and rescue teams and the arrival of IAF helicopters to assist in rescue operations helped minimise the potential damage," the home minister said.
He did not announce any immediate relief package for Uttarakhand and said a detailed estimate of the loss needed to be made first.