Environment

Kerala Floods: Death Toll Climbs to 76; 2.87 Lakh in Relief Camps

Rahul Gandhi, who is in Kerala to take stock of the flood situation, visited a relief camp at the hill town of Thiruvambady, which is a part of his Lok Sabha constituency Wayanad.

New Delhi: With rains subsiding in many parts of Kerala, search operations are underway in landslide-hit areas of Kavalappara and Puthumala in Malappuram and Wayanad, even as the toll in the monsoon fury climbed to 76 and 2.87 lakh persons have sought refuge in relief camps.

Fifty-eight persons are still missing, of whom 50 are in Malappuram, where the toll is 24, the highest in the state.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is in Kerala to take stock of the flood situation, this morning visited a relief camp at the hill town of Thiruvambady, part of Wayanad constituency, which he represents in the Lok Sabha.

Rahul Gandhi visits Kavalappara in his constituency of Wayanad on Sunday, August 11, 2019. Photo: PTI

“In this tragedy, we all are standing with you,” he said, addressing the people in the camp and wanted Congress and UDF workers to provide all help to those affected by the deluge.

“I have come here with sadness. There is tremendous tragedy in Wayanad. I also know today is a festival. Though it is not a happy occasion, I still wish you for Eid,” he said.

In many camps, people observed a low key Eid festival with well-wishers bringing in food and new clothes for the inmates. There was no red alert in any of the 14 districts on Monday.

An official update at 11 am said 2,87,585 people have taken shelter in 1,654 relief centres in the state.

With the recovery of more bodies, including 24 from Malappuram, 17 from Kozhikode and 12 from Wayanad since August 8, the toll has gone up to 76.

A massive landslide had wreaked havoc in Kavalappara, a 10-acre settlement near Nilambur in Malappuram on August 8 and according to local people at least 50 people are still missing.

Another landslide had wreaked havoc in Puthumala in Wayanad. Ten bodies have been recovered and seven people are said to be missing.

Also read: Kerala Floods: Search for Missing Persons Continues After Landslides

Efforts are on to deliver relief materials – clothes, medicines and cleaning materials – to people who have been displaced and collection centres have come up across Kerala. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the IAF, state disaster response forces and local administration are providing relief and conducting rescue operations in states hit by monsoon fury.

Four trains were fully cancelled on Monday – Okha Ernakulam express, BarauniErnakulam Raptisagar, the Thiruvananthapuram-Ahilyanagari express and the KochuveliHyderabad special trains – a Southern Railways press release said this morning.

Meanwhile, the Kerala University has postponed all its examinations to be held for August 13, a release said.

A view of a flooded region in Wayanad on Sunday, August 11, 2019. Photo: PTI

At the same time, heavy showers lashed Uttarakhand and Jammu leaving nine people dead in landslides, while rescue and relief operations continued in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat on Monday.

A total of 12 lakh people have been affected in the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat as the water level has started to recede in the deluge-ravaged areas.

Nearly 125 people stranded on a road washed away by floods in Gujarat’s Kutch district were rescued by the Indian Air Force (IAF), while in Karnataka and Maharashtra works were started to repair roads damaged by landslides and heavy rains.

Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Monday asked the Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina to release Rs. 10,000 immediately to each of the families who had lost their houses and whose houses had been partially damaged in the floods in the district.

After visiting the damaged Kukkavu bridge, the Chief Minister said that in addition to Rs. 10,000 those families whose houses have been partially damaged will get Rs. one lakh for repair works.

According to a report in NDTV, the Indian Navy on Sunday undertook aerial rescue and relief operations in North Karnataka’s Belgaum district. The naval helicopters rescued 26 stranded citizens and delivered around 800 kg of food and drinking materials to areas facing acute shortage of the supplies.

Yediyurappa also briefed Union home minister Amit Shah about the rescue operations, after Shah undertook an aerial survey of flood-affected areas of Karnataka, and requested an immediate aid of Rs. 3,000 crore.

In Uttarakhand, which has been hit by heavy rains, six persons, including a woman and her nine-month-old daughter, were buried alive in landslides in three different villages in Chamoli district. Erosion caused by swirling waters of the flooded Chuflagad River also washed away two buildings on its banks.

Also read: Maharashtra Floods: Water Receding in Kolhapur and Sangli, Relief Works Continue

The state emergency operation centre in Dehradun said the debris of landslides fell on three houses in Banjabgad, Aligaon and Lankhi villages in the district’s Ghat area trapping occupants who were suffocated to death.

In Jammu and Kashmir, three members of a family died after they came under a boulder during a landslide in Resai district while two others were also injured in the incident that took place on Sunday evening in Laar village in the district’s Mahore belt.

Indian Navy personnel rescue residents from flood-hit areas of Sangli and Kolhapur districts in Maharashtra on Saturday, August 10, 2019. Photo: PTI

In Maharashtra, the Mumbai-Bengaluru National Highway-4, that was closed near Kolhapur in Maharashtra for last six days, was partially opened for traffic on Monday after the floodwaters receded and thousands of stranded trucks carrying essential commodities were allowed to move. Traffic movement was also allowed between Kolhapur and Belgaum in Karnataka.

Precaution is being maintained in the deluge-hit states as most rivers are in a spate and water is being released from reservoirs.

The national capital, on the other hand, recorded a humid Monday morning with the minimum temperature settling at 28 degrees Celsius, a notch above the season’s average. Humidity was recorded at 84% at 8.30 am. The Safdarjung observatory recorded 0.2 mm rainfall till 8.30 am while Lodhi Road received 0.8 mm rainfall.

(With inputs from PTI)