Heavy rains batter Kerala, rivers in spate

A year after the devastating deluge, Kerala is once again being battered by heavy rains with landslips and floods wreaking havoc claiming eight lives on Thursday, while over 9,500 people have been shifted to relief camps.

A massive landslip has been reported from Meppadi in the hilly Wayanad district where, according to a legislator, a temple, church, couple of houses and a few vehicles have come under soil and several people feared missing.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who chaired an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation, said the state should be prepared for more downpour.

"Heavy rain has increased across most of Northern Kerala. The main threat will be across Nilambur and Wayanad. Red alerts have been issued for four districts. Were keeping a close eye on the situation," Vijayan tweeted.

The chief minister's office has directed district collectors to evacuate people from danger-prone areas.

"We have requested more NDRF teams to be sent to the state. Already two teams have been sent to Nilambur and Idukki," a CMO release said.

According to disaster management authority sources, three people from Idukki, one each in Kannur, Palakkad and Thrissur and two in Wayanad died in rain related incidents on Thursday.

A one-year-old girl child was among the dead.

(with news agency inputs)