16 Dead in Rain-related Incidents in Kerala: Minister

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:
Torrential rains accompanied by gusty winds that lashed parts of Kerala for the past two days after the monsoon set in on May 29 has claimed 16 lives so far and caused damage to crops worth over Rs 6 crore, Minister for Revenue E Chandrasekharan said here today.
As per a preliminary estimate, 1,109 houses were partially damaged and 61 fully destroyed in the rains, while 122 people from 33 families have been shifted to relief camps, the minister told the state assembly. Agriculture loss was estimated at Rs 6.34 crore in 188.41 hectares of farm land, the minister said to a submission by Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, adding the calamity has affected 2,784 farmers.
The families of the deceased would be given Rs four lakh from the State Disaster Relief Fund, he said adding compensation also would be given to people whose houses have been damaged. Control rooms have been set up in all districts to coordinate emergency operations in the event of any rain- related incidents, Chandrasekharan said.
District authorities have been provided with funds to meet emergency situations, he said. Minister for Water Resources and Irrigation Mathew T Thomas said steps have been taken to prevent sea erosion by putting granite boulders and geo-tubes.
Meanwhile as rains continued, authorities said shutters of Neyyar dam here would be opened if the water level touches maximum capacity.

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