Eight die in Kerala rains, landslides

August 7th, 2012 - 8:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Kozhikode (Kerala), Aug 7 (IANS) At least eight people, including five of a family, were killed in Kerala as heavy rains lashed Kannur and Kozhikode districts, triggering landslides, officials said Tuesday.

Authorities have pressed units of navy and special forces in relief and rescue operations.

Kozhikode’s Kodencherry area saw the family of a man identified as Joseph, his wife, their daughter-in-law and two grandchildren swept away by water pouring from a hill.

Three other people were killed in Kodencherry area in the last two days.

The Pazhassi Dam commissioned in 1979, located 37 km from Kannur district, has been overflowing since Monday.

Of the 17 shutters in the dam, only 10 were opened. This resulted in the waters washing away the bank embankments.

“The dam appears to be unsafe and instructions have been given to people living in the downstream of the dam to vacate. The side embankments have all been washed away,” said Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph.

Angry residents near the Pazhassi dam protested alleged government inaction before Home Minister T. Radhakrishnan when he visited the areas in Kannur district.

He told the residents that the cabinet will decide on compensation to be paid to all those who lost their property.

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