Four dead, three missing as rains lash Kerala, red alert in many districts

Among the missing are two fishermen who had gone fishing in the sea. (Express Photo: Nidhin AS)

Four people died and three others were missing as heavy rains continued to lash Kerala on Sunday. Among the missing are two fishermen who had gone fishing in the sea even as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) sounded alerts in Kannur, Kasargod, Idukki and Kozhikode districts till July 23.

The body of 55-year-old Sahayaraju, one of the missing fishermen, was found in Kollam district, PTI quoted the coastal police as saying. "A search is on for the remaining two missing fishermen. A Coast Guard ship and two boats of Marine Enforcement have been pressed into service," an official told PTI. The body of Manesh Sebastian, who went missing in the Kottayam’s Meenachil river, was recovered by the Navy.

The IMD has issued a red alert in Kasargod and Idukki districts on Sunday, and Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur districts for Monday. It has also forecast "extremely heavy rainfall" in Kannur and Kasargod districts on Tuesday. The Met department has also sounded an orange alert in Kottayam, Thrissur, Ernakulam and Malappuram till July 25.

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Even as the intensity of rains reduced Sunday, coastal areas continued to bore the brunt of the rough sea. The state government asked tourists to stay away from Shankumugham Beach in Thiruvananthapuram. The Met department also cautioned fishermen from venturing into the sea.

According to sources of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), hundreds of houses located in coastal areas have already been evacuated.

On Saturday, Skymet Weather said Kannur broke the record for the highest precipitation in the last 10 years for the month of July.