NDRF members rescue a dog from a flood-affected area in Kerala's Wayanad. (PTI/photo)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday began his Kerala visit to review situation in his Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency ravaged by floods and landslides, even as the death toll in the monsoon fury mounted to 60 with over 2.27 lakh people being sheltered in relief camps across the state. Accompanied by Congress general secretary KC Venugopal, Gandhi arrived at the Karipur airport near Kozhikode on Sunday afternoon.
He is expected to visit some rain-hit places in neighbouring Mallapuram district three assembly segments of which form part of Wayanad constituency, party sources said. Gandhi, who won with a record margin from the hill constituency in the April Lok Sabha elections, said during his stay he would visit relief camps across Wayanad and review relief measures with state government officials.
"For the next few days I will be based in my Lok Sabha constituency, #Wayanad that has been ravaged by floods. I will be visiting relief camps across Wayanad and reviewing relief measures with District & State officials," he tweeted.
Kerala: Rahul Gandhi reaches at a relief camp in Boodanam Church in Nilambur, Malappuram and meets flood-affected people. He is in his Lok Sabha constituency, Wayanad, to review the flood situation. pic.twitter.com/YDOJd4igoC— ANI (@ANI) August 11, 2019
Several people have so far lost their lives in Wayanad and Malappuram districts in the monsoon fury while many are feared missing in a major landslide. Gandhi had said he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the district collector of Wayanad and Congress workers in the state regarding the flood situation in his constituency.
This is his second visit to Wayanad after the election. Earlier, he had come on a three-day thanksgiving visit when he addressed road shows and public meetings in the constituency.
Gandhi chose Wayanad as his second seat in addition to party stronghold of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, which he, however, lost in the 2019 polls.
Vijayan held a meeting with senior officials on Sunday morning to review the flood situation and later told reporters that the death toll in rain-related incidents since August 8 has touched 60.
About 2.27 lakh people have been shifted to 1,551 relief camps, he said.
Vijayan said even though the rains have subsided in the state, people should remain vigilant.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for rains for three districts -- Kannur, Kasaragod and Wayand.
Vadakara in Kozhikode district recorded 21 cm of rainfall, the highest in the state as of 8.30 AM Sunday, followed by Kodungallur in Thrissur (19.9) and Perinthalmanna in Malappuram (13.8), the IMD said.
Vijayan also said the water level in the major dams was not a cause of worry as of now. The Idukki Dam, one of the biggest in the state, presently had only 36.61 per cent of its capacity, he added.
In the worst-hit Puthumala in Wayanad, which was struck by a massive landslide on August 8, Vijayan said eight people were still missing and search operations were on for them.