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Driven by twin weather systems in the Arabian sea and the Bay of Bengal, heavy rains pounded large parts of the State on Tuesday, claiming at least three lives. Floodwaters inundated low-lying areas, damaged houses and disrupted road traffic in several districts.

At Karipur in Malappuram, two children, one a seven-year-old and the other aged eight months, died when the wall of a house collapsed in heavy rain following a mudslide from a nearby hillock. A journalist working for a vernacular daily was crushed to death after a tree fell on him while he was travelling on a two-wheeler at Pandalam in Pathanamthitta.

Isolated heavy rainfall is likely to continue in the State till October 16 under the influence of cyclonic circulations persisting over both the Arabian Sea and the Andaman Sea, according to the weather office here.

Relief camps

Revenue Minister K. Rajan said 27 relief camps had been opened to accommodate families displaced by the floods and instructions had been issued to open more camps wherever needed.

He said six teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were positioned in Thrissur, Alappuzha, Idukki, and Wayanad to respond to emergency situations. Families in places prone to landslips and flooding would be relocated to safer places. The State police have also been put on stand-by for rescue and relief work.

In Thrissur, people living along the banks of the swollen Chalakudy river were evacuated when floodwaters entered many houses after the sluice valves of Peringalkuthu dam were opened in the earlier hours on Tuesday.

Dam shutters opened

The spillway shutters of Vazhani, Peechi and Chimoni dams too were opened. Tourists were stopped from visiting Athirappilly and Vazhachal areas. Widespread crop loss has been reported from many places in the district.

Heavy rains continued to pound most parts of Ernakulam district on Tuesday. Heavy crop damage was reported from from the eastern fringes of the district where heavy winds felled hundreds of banana plants.

Landslips

In Malappuram, landslips were suspected to have occurred in the forests of Nilambur, Karuvarakundu, and Silent Valley. A bridge at Thiruvali gave in to the surging floodwaters and the ghatt road to Attappady from Mannarkkad was blocked by fallen trees. People living in the fringes of Kottakkunnu were evacuated in view of the possibility of landslips.

The heavy rains that lashed Kozhikode district since Monday night triggered landslips in Mavoor, Chathamangalam and Peruvayal grama panchayats. City roads were waterlogged and traffic was disrupted. Many hectares of paddy fields and plaintain farms were flooded in Mavoor and Chathamangalam.

In Kannur, six houses were damaged by heavy rains and 57 families were relocated to safer places. Streams and rivers were in spate and landslips were reported at Paripthod areas in Block 13 in Aralam.