Periyar river and canals are overflowing after the downpour lashed the area since Sunday. The deceased includes two children and two women and their houses on hill slope in Idukki district were swept away by flash floods, the police said. (Agencies)
A district where most of the people work as small and marginal farmers, Idukki also suffered heavy loss of crop and property. Several people were reported to be missing as huge mounds of rock and rubble came crashing down at Chiyyappara in Idukki while relief work was on in the area, where landslips took place.
Several vehicles were trapped in the debris and rescue work hampered as roads the district got blocked by rubble spawned by landslide and flashfloods.
"Cochin International Airport has been closed till 2:30 pm as water entered the runway as the Periyar river is overflowing after shutters of the Edamalayalar dam were opened," Airport Director ACK Nair said.
The sandbanks of the Periyar river in Aluva, where thousands gathered to perform the Balitharpanam ritual on Tuesday on the occasion of Karkitakavavu is flooded and Shiva temple almost got submerged.
Ernakulam District Collector Sheikh Pareed said that the possibilities of making alternative arrangements for the conduct of the ritual were being explored and the help of Navy, who have been called in to tackle the situation.
People in affected areas have been shifted to relief camps. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has called an emergency cabinet meeting in the state capital to review the seriousness of situation and gear up the relief and rescue operations.
The IMD has cautioned fishermen not to venture into the sea in the next 48 hours as strong winds of 45-55 kmph could lash coastal areas along with heavy rains.
Periyar river and canals are overflowing after the downpour lashed the area since Sunday. The deceased includes two children and two women and their houses on hill slope in Idukki district were swept away by flash floods, the police said.