Brief let-up in rains in Kerala, death toll now 37

After being pounded by rains for the past few days, there was a brief let-up in the downpour on Saturday but the government remained on high alert with more rains forecast, even as the toll in the monsoon fury since August 8 climbed to 37.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who undertook an aerial survey of rain ravaged areas of Idukki and Wayanad, said Kerala was in the midst of an unprecedented flood havoc and the calamity has caused "immeasurable misery and devastation."

He said Rs 10 lakh compensation would be given to people who lost their homes and land and Rs four lakh to those who lost a member of their family.

Though there was a respite from rains across the state today, especially in catchment areas of Idukki dam, the Indian Meteorological Department issued a 'Red alert',asking people to be cautious as there was a possibility of heavy to very heavy rainfall in most places in Idukki, Wayanad, Kannur, Ernakulam, Palakkad and Malappuram.

Two fishermen drowned when their boat capsized off Thiruvananthapuram coast, while in an another incident,the bodies of a mother and daughter were found in a waterlogged area behind their house at Kuttanad in Alappuzha district.

Four more bodies were recovered from other parts of the state, taking the toll to 37, official sources said.

With the let up in the rains, life is limping back to normal in affected areas, including Palakkad and Wayanad, where flood waters have started receding.