Kerala Rains: Death Toll Rises to 29, Leaves 54,000 Homeless
The government of Kerala in an official statement on Friday, 10 August said that 29 people have been killed, while nearly 54,000 people have been left homeless due to incessant rains witnessed in the state over the last three days.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan conducted an aerial survey of flood-affected areas of the state on Saturday, 11 August, ANI reported. Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala also accompanied the CM.
Vijayan announced Rs 4 lakh for those who have lost homes and Rs 10 lakh for those who have lost homes and land in landslides and flooding.
Of the deaths, the government said 25 were caused due to soil erosion and four because of drowning, reported The News Minute.
All Five Shutters of Idukki Dam Opened
All five shutters of the Idukki dam were opened on 10 August, with 7 lakh litres of water expected to come out per second.
“Areas to have experienced heavy rainfall are the hilly regions of Idukki and Wayanad and Malappuram,” an IMD official told The News Minute.
50 Tourists Stranded in Munnar Rescued
The Army on 10 August, rescued more than 50 tourists, including 24 of foreign nationals who were stranded at a resort in the Idukki district.
Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran told PTI they were brought out safely after army personnel cut out a parallel pathway.
Navy to the Rescue
55 people have been evacuated from flood hit areas in Kerala by the Indian Navy in its 'Operation Madad' to assist the state government, following heavy rains and release of excess water from many dams.
The operation, launched by Southern Naval Command (SNC) on 9 August, continued to the next day.
Two teams with Gemini boats commenced rescue operations at Kalpetta, Wayanad and at Panmarum (13 km south of Mananthavady), where they evacuated 55 stranded people till 12 noon on 10 August, a defence press release said.
Another team was airlifted by a Seaking Helicopter to Kalpetta with all gear and two electric generators, which was requested by Wayanad District Collector.
Rajnath Singh Assures Assistance
The Centre, on 10 August, assured the Kerala government of all possible help in rescue and relief operations in the wake of rains and floods.
The assurance was given to CM Vijayan by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who will also undertake an aerial survey of the state's flood affected areas on Sunday.
"Spoke to Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the prevailing flood situation in the state. I have assured all possible assistance from the Centre to the state government. The relief and rescue ops are going on. MHA is closely monitoring the flood situation," Singh tweeted.
The home minister will undertake a survey of the flood affected areas in Kerala on Sunday, a Home Ministry spokesperson said.
Over 15,000 People Shifted From Low Lying Areas
According to state disaster control room sources, 241 relief camps have been opened and 15,695 people have been shifted from low-lying areas.
Over 5,500 people from Wayanad district, where a red alert was sounded on Thursday, have been shifted to relief camps, they added.
In Ernakulam, 3,456 people have been shifted to camps following floods after 4 shutters of the Idamalayar dam were opened on Thursday.
According to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin at 8 am, thunderstorms accompanied by gusty winds are likely to affect Idukki, Pathanamthitta and Wayanad districts.
The government has asked tourists not to go to high range areas and dam sites.
Road Washed Out in Kerala
A dramatic visual of a road getting washed away in Kerala’s Malappuram district was released on Thursday, 9 August, after flash floods and landslides hit the region.
According to Kerala State Emergency Operations Centre, 22 people had died as of Thursday, due to the heavy rains that lashed the area.
Eleven people died in Idukki district, five in Malappuram district, three in Wayanad, two in Kannur and one in Kozhikode, said a home ministry spokesperson to PTI.
Four teams of the National Disaster Response Force, comprising 45 personnel each, have left Chennai for Kerala to assist the rescue and relief operations. An Inter-Ministerial Central Team of the central government is also visiting flood-affected areas in Kerala, while Army troops are being mobilised from Bengaluru for deployment in the rain-battered southern state.
With water levels rising in various dams and reaching almost their maximum capacity, shutters of at least 22 reservoirs in Kerala have been opened to drain out excess water.
Excessive Damage Due to Rains, Says CM Vijayan
Earlier, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, while talking to media, said rains have caused extensive damage to life and property across the state.
As a precaution, the Cochin International Airport Limited has informed that till 2.30 pm all incoming flights will be diverted to other destinations, while there will be no problem for outgoing flights.
The chief minister also held an emergency meeting and appointed senior official PH Kurian to lead the rescue and relief operations.
Reacting to the crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was in conversation with Chief Minister Vijayan and that all possible help would be given to the people of Kerala in the wake of this “calamity”.
A special monitoring cell has been opened in the state secretariat and all the 14 district collectors have been directed to open one monitoring centre in each district.
(With inputs from The News Minute, ANI, IANS, PTI)