KOCHI l SUNDAY l AUGUST 11, 2019 l `8.00 l PAGES 28 l LATE CITY EDITION #KeralaTragedy 80 landslides in 8 districts in two days relief camps 1.96L people in 9 7 A man near his landslide-hit house at Chelakkattu near Kattappana in Idukki on Saturday | SHIYAMI Rescuers struggle to move a boat while evacuate stranded people at Cheruvatta in Kozhikode on Saturday | MANU R MAVELIL Two people attempt to wade through a flooded road with their bike in Kozhikode | MANU R MAVELIL 57 DEAD, 68 MISSING Monsoon misery RED ALERT n Kasaragod n Kannur n Wayanad ORANGE ALERT n Kozhikode n Malappuram n Thrissur n Palakkad n Ernakulam n Idukki E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi 32,276 Banasura Sagar dam shutter opened Centre to provide I52.27 cr to Kerala as flood assistance 9 KSEB substations closed 4 small power stations closed people in 197 camps in Wayanad The Cochin International Airport will resume operations from today noon. Check-in will start at 9 am at both domestic and international terminals All express train services between Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru cancelled on Saturday The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation has partially resumed its inter-state services EXPRESS READ Rain: Stadium ground portion collapses Kochi: The Krishnagiri Stadium in Wayanad bore the brunt of the relentless rain as a portion of the hilltop ground, including the retaining wall, collapsed. The Kerala Cricket Association said they haven’t been able to send engineers to inspect the damage due to the flood situation in Wayanad. SIT records eyewitness statement T’Puram: Contrary to the statement given by IAS officer Sriram Venkataraman to police on Friday that he was not drunk during the accident, an eyewitness told the Special Investigation Team on Saturday that the officer was in an inebriated state while getting down from the driver’s seat in the car and that he was speeding. PLUS 12 PAGES MAGAZINE ANOTHER LANDSLIDE HITS KAVALAPPARA, HAMPERS RESCUE; KANNUR, KOZHIKODE UNDER WATER THE third day since rain intensified in Kerala, the focus continued to be on the landslide-hit areas of Kavalappara in Malappuram and Puthumala at Meppadi in Wayanad, as the total death toll by natural calamities rose to 57 on Saturday . Worryingly a total of 68 persons — 59, , including 20 children at Kavalappara, and nine at Puthumala — are still missing nearly three days after the landslides. In Kavalappara, the rescue team had to be moved to safety after the site witnessed another lands l i d e o n S a t u r d ay, h a m p e r i n g operations. Meanwhile, four persons died in Kozhikode while three persons lost their lives in rain-related incidents in Kannur. Major rivers in the state - Pampa, Bharathapuzha and Periyar - were in spate, inundating nearby areas. With rain continuing to lash the state, around 1.96 lakh from 55,749 families have been shifted to 1,392 camps. Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts saw the highest number of people being shifted to camps. In Wayanad, one of the four shutters of Banasura Sagar dam opened 10 cm at 3 pm on Saturday releasing water at 8.5 cu, bic metre per second. This affected Kottathara, Padinjaarathara and Panamaram grama panchayats, forcing authorities to shift over 150 people from these areas to relief camps. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram that the state witnessed 80 landslides in eight districts in the past two days. The Cochin International Airport, which was closed from Friday, will resume operations from Sunday noon, while the Southern Railway on Saturday cancelled all express trains running between Thiruvananthapuram and Mangalore due to landslides and waterlogging P2, 4, 5 on railway tracks. Who after Rahul? Sonia, says Congress R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi THAT the Congress is not yet ready for a non-Gandhi party chief became evident on Saturday when the Congress Working Committee replaced Rahul Gandhi, who stepped down as party chief weeks ago, with his mother. A party source claimed Sonia Gandhi was made interim president, keeping in mind the ongoining situation in the country under BJP rule as she is the “most experienced and trusted” leader. Also, there was no consensus on any other name. “During the meeting, it was said the party needs a visionary leader who can keep everyone together with the BJP trying to divide people. Party leaders cited the situation arising out of abrogation of Article 370 and the Centre’s next focus on uniform civil Sonia and Rahul at the CWC meeting in New Delhi | SHEKHAR YADAV There was unanimous resolution for Rahul to stay. As he did not agree, the party requested Sonia to take over as interim head — K C Venugopal, AICC general secretary code. It was decided that Sonia should lead,” said a CWC member who didn’t wish to be named. According to the party constitution, the CWC can only appoint an interim president and an AICC session has to be called to elect a full-time chief. Sonia was the longest serving party chief before Rahul took over from her in 2017. She was Congress president from 1998-2017. When the meeting began in the morning, many members requested Rahul to reconsider his decision but he refused to budge. The party’s top decision-making body then constituted five consultative groups representing east, west, north, south and the northeast regions comprising 400 office-bearers, including PCC chiefs, AICC secretary and party MPs as well as Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. However, when a majority of them again suggested Rahul’s name, the CWC took a break. When they met again, Sonia’s name was unanimously put forth. PARADISE SHUT Unidentified woman battles death at J&K hosp S A N A S H A K I L @ Srinagar “NUMBER 12”. This is how staff at the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Services (SKIMS), one of the biggest government hospitals in Srinagar, refer to one of their recent patients who is battling death. In the absence of any communication, the hospital has not been able to identify the unconscious “Number 12” and so her family is in all likelihood unaware about her condition, the hospital staff said. The young woman was admitted on Friday night with serious injuries. The only information the hospital has about her is that “Number 12” was travelling in a share taxi from Leh to Srinagar that met with an accident in Ganderbal. “We are hoping that she will pull through but she is critical and admitted in the ICU. Because of the total communication blockade, we have not been able to ascertain her identity or the identity of her family members. What can we do?” said a doctor at the surgical ward. Her family would have been a great support to the young woman, but they don’t know, the doctor said. The girl was not the only one travelling in the ill-fated vehicle. Seven other co-passengers of “Number 12” are also admitted to the Srinagar hospital though none of them were as badly injured. One of them is Uttar Pradesh native Upender Kumar, an Army man. Kumar recalls some details about the unconscious woman, who sat next to him in the taxi. “Her mother came to drop her and I believe the woman was coming to meet her sister who lives in RaP9 jbagh,” Kumar said. NC MOVES SC OVER REVOKING OF SPL STATUS New Delhi: A day after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his nod to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the National Conference (NC) on Saturday approached the Supreme Court challenging the Centre’s move to scrap provisions of Article 370 that accorded special status to the state. The petition was filed by Mohammad Akbar Lone, a former Speaker of the J&K Assembly, and Justice Hasnain Masoodi, a retired judge of the J&K High Court who ruled in 2015 that Article 370 was a permanent feature of the Constitution. Both are Lok Sabha members of the NC. Their plea said the Centre’s decision was unconstitutional. Rain intensity to decrease Things are likely to improve in the state with Met Department forecasting a decrease in intensity of rainfall over the next four days, beginning Sunday. 38% water in Idukki dam Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said water level in most dams in the state has reached only half their maximum storage level. Idukki dam, the largest hydel-dam in the state, has only 38 per cent storage Puthumala landslide toll; 9 still missing confirmed dead in Kavalappara landslide; 59 feared trapped 198 houses fully destroyed in state Pregnant woman, family saved in daring rescue EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Palakkad IN a daring operation on Saturday a rescue team compris, ing Fire and Rescue Services personnel and the police saved six members of a family including a pregnant wom, an, who were stranded for a week in an island in Attappadi after the temporary bridge was washed away in heavy rain. On Friday, a few rescue team members managed to reach Pattimalam Konar island in Bhavani River where Palaniamma, 60, her husband Selvaraj, their son Murugeshan, his eight-months pregnant wife Lavanya, their oneand-a-half year old daughter Myna and helper Ponnan were stuck. The rescue team managed to secure a strong rope across the gushing river. Although the family members were initially reluctant to be taken across via rope using a special belt and pulley, officers were Lavanya being rescued using a rope later able to convince them. First, Palaniamma was rescued, followed by Murugeshan, his daughter, Selvaraj and Ponnan. The officers consulted a doctor and took necessary precautions before shifting the pregnant woman. The family members waited on the other side of the shore with baited breath while Lavanya was being brought over. “It was a risky endeavour, but we are happy that it ended well,” said Palaniamma.
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