Thiruvananthapuram: Heavy rain continued to lash southern and central Kerala on Wednesday.
Mudslides were reported in Arpookkara and near the railway tunnel in Kottayam. Soil and boulders rolled over on the railway tracks near the first tunnel of the Kottayam railway line. Rail traffic on the route came to a grinding halt following the incident.
Electric posts near the tunnel were uprooted in the mudslide. Efforts are on to clear the debris. But as earth movers and other machinery cannot be brought to the site, only manpower can be used. It will take a long time for the rail traffic to be restored.
Only a few trains are running due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The mudslide occurred just before the Venad Express was to pass through the tunnel in the morning. Following the mudslide, the train ended its journey at Changanassery.
In Arpookkara, mudslides occurred in a residential area. Four houses in the area have been partially buried under the soil.
Kottayam district and its neighbouring areas have been receiving heavy rains for the last 10 hours. Precautions have been taken in case the water level in Meenachil river rises or a landslide occurs in the nearby areas.
If the rains continue unabated, areas like Kumarakom could be waterlogged. Along with the rain, strong winds are also reported in the districts. Strong winds uprooted a large tree at Chungam junction in Kottayam.
The meteorological centre had issued an orange alert on Wednesday and Thursday in some districts of Kerala due to the heavy rainfall. Orange alert is sounded for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Idukki and yellow alert in other districts on Wednesday.
Thiruvananthapuram has been experiencing heavy rain since Tuesday night. The shutters of Aruvikkara dam were raised by 10 centimetres. This will be raised 30 cm later. The rainfall is causing difficulty to the health workers and police during the COVID resistance activities.
Many places in Kochi were waterlogged within a day of rainfall. The Operation Breakthrough which was implemented to avoid waterlogging during monsoon was not effective. Many major roads including MG Road are under water. Houses in Perumpadappu and Maradu are flooded and rough sea is causing trouble in Chellanam.
The shutters of Bhoothathankettu dam were kept open due to incresae in water level.