Kochi, August 9: Kerala's coveted annual boat race, which draws participants from all parts of southern India, has been postponed in wake of the incessent rainfall and deteriorating flood situation in the state. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who chaired a cabinet meeting today, also announced a red alert in nine districts.
Nehru Trophy Boat Race, which was to be held in an "IPL-style" tournament, has been "indefinitely postponed" due to the rough weather conditions, Vijayan said. The dates of the boat race were rejigged last year as well, when Kerala was hit by the worst floods in over a century. Kerala Floods: List of Trains Cancelled, Diverted and Short Terminated
Coastal region of Kerala is worst affected due to the floods, with nearly 22,000 people said to be moved to the relief camps. The death toll has mounted to 22, and is feared to rise further as several people are reported to be trapped in landslides in Wayanad and Malappuram.
In Wayanad, the constituency represented by former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, six people are reportedly dead in a landslide. In neighbouring Malappuram, another landslide has been reported in which 50 people are said to be trapped.
"Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi spoke to the Prime Minister seeking all possible assistance for the people severely affected by the floods and landslides in the state, especially in Wayanad. The PM has assured to provide any assistance required to mitigate the effects of the disaster," said the statement issued by the lawmaker's Twitter handle.
The Indian Air Force (IAF), Navy and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been deployed for the relief and rescue operation.
Situation continues to remain grim in neighbouring Karnataka as well, where 12 deaths have been reported so far due to the incessent rainfall and overflowing of rivers.